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Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions: Reconsidered

NCJ Number
Marsha Weissman, Ph.D.; Alan Rosenthal, Esq.; Patricia Warth, Esq.; Elaine Wolf, Ph.D.; Michael Messina-Yauchzy, Ph.D.
Loren Siegel
Date Published
31 pages
This report presents the results of a survey that examined the use of criminal history screening in college admissions procedures.
Key findings from the report include: 66 percent of colleges responding to the survey collect criminal justice information, though not all use it in the admissions process; 38 percent of the responding schools do not collect criminal justice information and they also do not report that their schools are less safe; most criminal justice information is collected through self-disclosure or the Common Application; most schools that collect and use criminal justice information have additional procedures in place for using the information in the admissions decision process; only 40 percent of schools that collect and use criminal justice information have trained staff on how to interpret the information; and a slight majority of the schools that collect and use criminal justice information provides support for admitted students with criminal records. Data for this report were obtained from a 59-question survey that was administered between September 30, 2009, and October 29, 2009 to the 3,248 member institutions in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The survey was administered electronically and 273 institutions responded to the request. Recommendations for making college more accessible for students with criminal justice histories are discussed. Figures and references