When filling out the Common Application for college, or many other college applications, people are required to report whether or not they have a criminal history, or even a history of behavioral or academic misconduct in high school. This discourages a lot of students from applying to certain colleges, because they're afraid that they won't be accepted due to the specific fact of their criminal record. According to The Chronicle, the White House is trying to urge colleges and the Common App to remove questions about criminal history in order to make it easier for people with a history to apply for college.
The program, called the Fair Chance For Higher Education Pledge, has already been signed by 25 higher education institutions across the United States.
A study of the applications of about 1,400 colleges in the United States by Robert A. Stewart, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, found that about 70 percent of the applications asked about students’ criminal records.
It is important that people get an education no matter what they have been through in their past, but it is also important for colleges to understand and be aware of the criminal history of all of their students in order to protect everyone on campus – a point which will surely continue this debate for years to come.
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