While it is an excellent place to earn a bachelor’s degree, the University of Colorado in Boulder is not exactly inexpensive. If you are a resident, you can expect to pay roughly $12,500 in annual tuition. As an out-of-state student, you may need to come up with nearly $40,000 per year.

These estimates do not include academic fees, books, living expenses or other costs. Fortunately, government-backed financial assistance may be available to help you fund your education. Do you have to disclose a DUI on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, though?

Qualifying for federal student aid

To determine your eligibility for federal loans, grants and work-study funds, you must complete the FAFSA. In addition to evaluating your economic need for financial assistance, the application asks about criminal convictions. Fortunately, you typically do not have to disclose an ordinary DUI offense on the FAFSA.

Other convictions, such as those for possessing or selling a controlled substance, are usually a different story.

Maintaining eligibility for private funds

Even though the federal financial aid you receive is likely to help you pay for much of your collegiate experience, it probably does not cover everything. Private scholarship funds may close the gap.

If you have a private scholarship, your DUI conviction may be problematic. That is, many scholarship programs require recipients to abide by a code of conduct that a DUI probably violates. Therefore, if you think your DUI conviction may render you ineligible for private funds, you should check with the scholarship’s administrator.

Still, even if you lose your eligibility for private funds, the fact that you can likely keep your federal student aid may help you get through the stress that often accompanies drunk driving arrests and prosecutions.