Whether it is the Common Application, used by several hundred colleges and universities in the U.S., or one of their own, most applications for higher education ask about a history of incarceration.
For many, it is an innocuous box to check: “No.” You probably don’t think about it if you have never served time behind bars. However, if you have, you think about that box a lot. Every time you apply for a job and, in this case, every time you apply for school.
If you just ignore the question, your application is incomplete and you set yourself up to be asked about it again, whether on screen or in person. If you tell the truth and say “yes,” you may not be accepted. If you say “no” when you should have said yes and it gets discovered, you could be kicked out of school. Too many times, that question – that box – stops the application process altogether.
Just like the Ban the Box movement to remove questions about criminal history (at least during the initial application) when seeking employment, there is a movement underway to get colleges and universities to remove those questions from their student applications. FULL ARTICLE