We suggest colleges consider narrowing the scope of such inquiries or removing the question altogether — particularly when it conflicts with the goals of these institutions, including reducing the underrepresentation of students of color. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.
The Use of Criminal Records in College Admissions
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Can I Go to College if I Have a Criminal Record?
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Early View Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue. Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Although given a life sentence, her time was reduced for showing intelligence and skill at research and scholarship.
Do Colleges Do Background Checks?
Jones also wrote several dance compositions and authored historical plays, one of which is slated for production at an Indianapolis theater, while serving her sentence. Instead, she enrolled at New York University, where she is a Ph. No data exists on exactly how many college students with criminal backgrounds are enrolled in college.
But, a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics calculated that, by age 23, nearly one-in-three people will have been arrested. A survey of post-secondary institutions found that 66 percent collect criminal justice background information from prospective students, and most consider that information during the initial admissions process.
Thinking “beyond the box”: The use of criminal records in college admissions
On most applications, it starts with a simple "yes" or "no". Does the applicant have a criminal background? Nearly two-thirds of individuals with a felony criminal-offense record did not proceed with their application after being asked, according to a study of those seeking higher education at the State University of New York.
When an applicant checks the box that they have a criminal background, they must answer subsequent questions detailing their arrest or conviction. For the people coming straight out of prison, completing an online college application can feel daunting and overwhelming. Colleges and universities often struggle with admitting previously incarcerated students due to concerns for campus safety. But analyses have concluded these screening questions have low predictive value and the research does not suggest campuses that admit previously incarcerated applicants have higher crime or violence rates.
Education has long been proven to reduce recidivism, or repeated crime, rates.
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- How Does Being Convicted of a Misdemeanor Affect the Pursuit of a College Education?!
Campaigns such as Ban the Box BTB aim at eliminating the criminal background questions from employment applications and housing paperwork. A parallel campaign called Beyond the Box wants to eliminate those questions from college applications. The goal is to make it easier for previously incarcerated people to get past the initial application process.
Some universities have begun to change the wording on their applications. The Common Application , used for admissions at institutions, has narrowed that question, asking specifically about prior felony and misdemeanor convictions.
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