August 22, 2022
Lansing, Mich.— What may seem like a “little” brush with the law during college welcome week, could lead to major long-term woes — like losing academic scholarships, difficulty finding a job, and a criminal record.
“Heading off to college is an exciting time for students”, says Dan Zick, an attorney at Foster Swift. “It can be easy to get caught up in that excitement and the newfound freedom of being away from parents. But, most college students are at least 18 years old, and that means if they get into any trouble, they’ll be treated as adults with possible long-term consequences.”
Across the state of Michigan, authorities typically report hundreds of citations during the first week of college, mostly alcohol-related. A national survey shows nearly 53 percent of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month.
In addition to the legal ramifications for underage drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, students may also lose scholarships, school leadership positions, housing contracts, and team privileges at some universities.
“We’re seeing these legal troubles for college students cause problems later in life,” says Zick. “Background checks are much more widely available now using third-party service providers. This includes both criminal background checks as well as credit checks. So if a student stops paying rent or faces eviction, that could also have long-term effects on finding an apartment, a mortgage or a job.”
Zick encourages parents to talk with their college-age kids about the potential pitfalls associated with welcome week. To learn more about these issues as well as what to do if your student does get into trouble, visit fosterswift.com.