College Admissions and Criminal Behavior

Are you a high school student who has committed a crime that you have to disclose on your college application? There was an article yesterday in “Science Daily” entitled “College Admission Questions Rarely Identify Criminal Behavior.” Apparently, a new study has been conducted and this study concludes that questions asked of students on the college application do not accurately forecast whether they’re likely to commit a crime once on a college campus. And criminal background checks aren’t accurate forecasters either, according to the study.

College Admissions and Criminal Questions, College Admissions and Discipline Questions

Should discipline questions be changed in college admissions?

As stated in the article on college admissions and criminal behavior, “‘In an effort to reduce campus crime, more than half of all American colleges ask applicants about their criminal histories or require criminal background checks,’ said study author Carol Runyan, Ph.D., MPH, and professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. ‘But there is no real evidence to show this reduces campus crime.’ Colleges across the U.S. ramped up background checks after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre which killed 32 people and wounded another 17.”

In any study, the sampling population is always important and it’s important to note that the entire sampling population for this study of 6,972 students was drawn from a large southern university. The study concluded that while students with prior criminal records were more likely indeed to commit crimes once on campus, the current screening process in admissions rarely identified these individuals. So, based on this, do you think colleges should change the way in which they try to find out information about criminal backgrounds of applicants? Do you think the current process should remain as is? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!

And, while you’re here, check out our newsletter on Discipline Questions in College Admissions.



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