You may face more than a criminal conviction if you’re caught shoplifting. You could also lose your college scholarship.
Here’s what you need to know about how a shoplifting conviction can affect your financial aid.
It depends on the source of the financial aid
For many, shoplifting can be seen as a teenage rite of passage. And while it may seem like a minor offense, it should not be taken lightly. A shoplifting conviction can have lasting impacts; potential employers and colleges often perform background checks when considering applicants.
The consequences of shoplifting will depend on the type of scholarship. If you are receiving aid through a government program, such as FAFSA, you will likely still be able to receive federal funding to pursue your college degree. (If the shoplifting charges amount to a felony, however, that might not be true.)
However, depending on the college and the terms of the scholarship, a conviction for theft can make it more difficult, as many scholarships have qualifications related to community involvement and demonstrating good character. Furthermore, if the scholarship is from a private organization, they can revoke your scholarship at any time. While you may not be automatically disqualified from a scholarship over shoplifting, your chances of receiving it can be impacted, especially if there is a large pool of applicants.
If your child has been charged with shoplifting, it’s imperative to know your legal options. Having someone who understands both the prosecution and defense sides can assist you as you navigate the legal system and help protect your rights. Don’t let one mistake derail a promising future.