The College criminal record questions should be restricted as it may well place barriers to higher education. John B. King Jr (U.S. Secretary of Education) will be promoting the proposal at UCLA The proposal to bring to an end the current admissions process format. Enquiries around the college criminal record process is seen as a deterrent to the completion of applications. Disproportionately those with criminal records are colored. The questions so early in the process further disadvantage those seeking an education. Notably The University of California (incl. Los Angeles and Berkeley Campuses) refrains from asking about criminal backgrounds. Further education should be an open road to personal fulfilment without obstacles at such an early stage. In the heightened awareness of background checks and ban the box the college criminal record process would appear to be in need of reform.
Federal government does have it’s hands tied over the college criminal record agenda. It does not have the mandate to impose what questions any college uses for screening. Furthermore the federal application for financial assistance has a question related to ‘criminal background’. The question (23) within FAFSA relates to drug possession and selling. The offense to have happened while in receipt of student aid. However removing this college criminal record section from the application requires an act of congress. Beyond The Box is a Federal report recommending colleges review their process. Whether the question can be stalled until post decision. College presidents all over the country will shortly be receiving a guide “Beyond the Box” from the DoE. The initiative calls for an objective view to engage with a diverse range of students irrespective of their shortcomings and any experience of the judicial system.
According to a study in 2015 by The Center for Community Alternatives two-thirds never finished their application. The application was for the State University of New York. The reason cited was over the convictions questions. Deputy under secretary for education comments that governemnt would like universities to think hard about the college criminal record format. If universities truly believe they still require clarity over a potential student’s criminal background can it be delayed until further down the process.