Legal Tips For College Students

When the young adult in your household is ready for college, there are a few nuggets of knowledge that should be discussed before he or she leaves the nest.  Alternatively, if you are a young adult, and you are leaving for college, I hope you find this article informative and filled with cautious, prudent advice.

As with any person who turns 18, although considered an adult, inexperience with life can result in mistakes or situations that can cause issues that linger for the foreseeable future.


Be sure you know how to contact campus security and its location.  Program the number into your cell phone.  For emergency situations or lock outs, it is best to have the number handy.  The same advice applies to the campus health center.

If you are undertaking social events, use common sense.  Don’t drink if you are under 21 years of age.  Don’t drink and drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drugs.  Never under any circumstances leave a drink unattended at a party.  Go to a party with a trusted friend.  Have a designated driver.  Have the local cab company phone number programmed into your phone.  If you feel uncomfortable, then leave the situation.

Consider joining AAA or another emergency road side service.

Financial Considerations

Watch out for scams online and otherwise.  A typical scam on college campuses is college students are being approached, door to door, by scammers selling magazine subscriptions that never come.  Be wary of such situations.

Have an understanding of credit cards and how they work.  Undoubtedly, having one is important especially for emergencies.  But, the money is a loan with interest and it will incur significant penalties, if not paid.  Additionally, it could cause problems with credit scores that could lead to issues securing a job, car, house, etc.

Criminal Acts

Young adults will be held to the same standards as an adult and will be held accountable for their actions.  For example, registering a car with campus security might not be a college “rule” but a law of the state.

Don’t download copyright protected music from the Internet.  Colleges can be subpoenaed for information and there are severe penalties for violation of the copyright law.

Don’t plagiarize or cheat on exams.  College professors are becoming increasing aware of such academic dishonestly and some even use programs that search the Internet comparing term paper text to text on the Internet.  This could lead to failure of a class or expulsion.


Be sure that adequate insurance covers everything.  Talk to your insurance agent about both car and renters insurance.


If you have a problem with a professor, with a grade, with another student, or with any other matter, find and use the proper channels to resolve the issue.

College can be a difficult transition period for some students.  If you need help, there are an abundance of options available: family, mentors, professors, coaches, friends, mental health counselors, lawyers, doctors, police officers, and others.

Handling oneself in a civil and responsible manner is a mark of true adulthood.

Copyright © 2013 Kyle R. Guelcher – All Rights Reserved. NOTICE: The materials contained in this website are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice. The materials on this site may be considered advertising under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Viewing this website or blog, requesting information, or contact by an attorney or associated attorney of the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are advised to speak with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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