Source: LA Times
About 66% of colleges around the country currently collect information on prospect’s criminal history, and the US federal government is trying to change that.
On Monday, US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. presented a proposal asking colleges around the nation to limit the information they collect on applicants’ criminal history, claiming that it discourages people who do have a criminal history from completing their applications.
In a 2015 study conducted in the Center for Community Alternatives, about two-thirds of applicants from a pool of 2,924 did not complete their college applications merely because of a concern regarding their criminal history.
The Department of Education argues that collecting this information can be unnecessary and is detrimental to the opportunities for minorities, who are statistically – and disproportionately – more likely to have criminal histories. The Dept. Of Education sent a guide called “Beyond the Box” — referring to jail cells — to university presidents around the country, urging them to limit collecting information on criminal history on college applications, in an effort to make higher education accessible to people who have been involved with the justice system. The federal government cannot enforce the proposal, but officials say they hope to bring the issue to the attention of the diversity leaders on college campuses.
While much research is still necessary to address the issue, evidence does suggest that removing these questions from college applications will encourage a new diverse group of people to complete their applications and have an opportunity for higher education.
Read full story at: LA Times