As the holidays conclude, the student in your family may be looking forward to his or her last few months of high school. If higher education is in your teen’s plans, a criminal conviction may be catastrophic. That is, your child’s background may have a tremendous influence on both educational and career goals.
There is a seemingly endless number of ways for Virginia teens to run afoul of federal, state and local laws. For example, your son or daughter may drink at a house party before driving home. Alternatively, he or she may use social media to engage in cyberbullying. As a diligent parent, you must explain the educational consequences that often accompany juvenile criminal activity. Here are three potential ones:
- Financial aid
College can be almost unconscionably expensive. In fact, the average cost of attending a public institution for a year is over $10,000. If your son or daughter wants to go to a private school, tuition and fees are apt to be more than $35,000 per year. Fortunately, government-backed financial aid is available to many students. If your child has a criminal record, though, competing for grants, scholarships, fellowships and even loans may be increasingly difficult.
- Living arrangements
The commonwealth is large. If your child chooses to go to a university far from home, he or she will probably need to live in student housing. A rap sheet may make doing so nearly impossible. Because college officials perform background checks, certain convictions may keep your teen out of the dorms.
- Professional licenses
Your young one may dream of becoming an accountant, lawyer, doctor or another professional worker. Unfortunately, because many professional associations forbid individuals with criminal convictions from joining their ranks, your son or daughter may be unable to secure a license to practice.
Like all parents, you want your child’s dreams to come true. By understanding the limitations that criminal convictions often place on educational and professional goals, you can better help your teen realize his or her full potential.