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Felony Convictions - how colleges handle it

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

(Information gathered from an informal poll conducted through the NACAC listserv and other contacts. Responses from approximately institutions have been summarized by Christine Benedict of Edgewood College in WI.)

Institutions that ask questions about felony convictions on the application for admission:

Barton College

Emory University

Flagler College

George Mason University

Hood College

Pomona College

Shawnee State University

State University of New York System

University of Florida System

University of South Carolina

Wayne State College

When asked, the question is typically phrased:

"Have you ever been convicted of an offense other than a minor traffic violation? Please explain."

When students respond yes, typical follow-up procedures include:

1. Having the student submit a detailed explanation of the offense/police reports.

2. On-campus interview with the student and staff member.

3. Having the Dean of Students or a committee review the explanation to determine if the student would be a threat to campus safety and subsequently be denied admission.

4. Not admitting the student (only 3 schools indicated that they denied all

convicted felons).

If student is admitted procedures include:

1. Restricting their admission as it is related to their offense. For example, not having them work in the business office, campus school, or facilities or live in the residence halls if their offenses were related to theft, forgery, assault, etc.

2. Regular meetings with a campus staff member or parole officer.

Institutions that do not ask questions about felony convictions:

Lawrence University

Northland College

University of Dallas

University of Wisconsin system

(and probably many others)

Common concerns/explanations include:

1. If a student is admitted through the process and something goes wrong, the college had explicit knowledge and was unable to protect itself or its students. It was suggested we speak to our legal counsel about this.

2. When a convicted felon is eligible to live freely in society, it has been determined by our legal system that they have paid their debts and should no longer be a threat.

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