There are multiple colleges, ranging from nationally-ranked institutions to community colleges, within a comfortable commuting distance of Newark, Fremont and Union City. Students from across California and even all of the world attend school in the area.

Regardless of what major you have or which school you attend, you should know that getting caught with drugs, even marijuana if you are under 21, could result in criminal charges. Drug charges can pose a problem for anyone, but for college students, they can create a veritable nightmare.

College students have more of a burden from drug offenses than others

Getting arrested for a drug offense as a college student can have multiple different negative effects on your educational career. First and foremost, you will face the potential of incarceration and the impact that will have on your enrollment. However, even if you don’t wind up facing jail time, the other consequences of your charges could be as negative for your education.

The more prestigious the school you attend, the more likely it is that they have policies regarding student behavior. Once the school learns about your arrest and charges, you could very well face internal disciplinary action. The school may decide to place you on academic probation, which could have an impact on your options for graduate school or your ability to remain in an honors program, as well as any scholarships provided by the school itself.

In some cases, the school could decide to end your enrollment, which could mean not getting a degree despite having invested substantial time and money in your education so far.

A conviction will reduce the financial aid options you have

Even if you avoid disciplinary action from your school, you may find that you lack access to adequate funding after a drug conviction. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, one of the questions you have to answer is whether you have a criminal conviction on your record.

Drug convictions specifically preclude you from receiving any kind of federal student aid. That means that you can no longer get subsidized student loans or federal educational grants. Additionally, a drug conviction can affect your ability to even participate in work-study programs. A conviction could also affect private scholarships.

College students pay substantially greater consequences than the average citizen for even minor drug offenses, which is one reason why college students, in particular, may need to consider aggressively defending themselves against even minor possession charges.