NEW YORK- On August 1st, NYU announced that it will ignore “the box” on the Common Application for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. The Education from the Inside Out Coalition has been the champion of the Ban the Box movement for years, and joined NYU student protests to Abolish the Box this past spring.
In a statement, EIO’s Co-Founder and CCF’s Executive Director Vivian Nixon praised the move:
“The Education from the Inside Out Coalition applauds NYU’s steps to ignore the Common Application’s criminal history checkbox in the 2016-2017 admissions cycle,” said EIO’s Co-Founder, and Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship, Vivian Nixon. “We think this is a huge step forward for students with criminal justice histories looking to reclaim their futures, instead of been forced to be judged for their pasts. Everyone deserves a second chance, and access to the transformative powers a Higher Education can provide. EIO is happy NYU has decided to take the step to ignore “the Box” in Higher Education, and hopes the Common Application uses this as a sign to remove the question completely from its applications used by more than 500 Universities and Colleges in this country.”
In their press release,
Facts and Statistics on “the Box”:
- In a study of 273 higher education institutions across the U.S., 66% reported that they collect information about applicants’ criminal justice history, but only 40% of these schools train staff on how to interpret these results, and over 50% have no written policy regarding the admission of applicants with a criminal history (Center for Community Alternatives, 2010).
- The Common App, used by over 600 colleges throughout the U.S., asks applicants to disclose any misdemeanor or felony convictions (The Common Application, 2016; The Marshall Project, 2015).
- A survey of postsecondary institutions throughout the U.S. found that 35% had denied admission or enrollment to at least one individual due to criminal history (Pierce et al., 2014).
- Admissions officials at schools using “the Box” were also more likely to report that they would “probably or definitely” not admit an otherwise qualified applicant who had an arrest or conviction, compared to those from schools that did not (Pierce et al., 2014).
- Colleges that restrict access to students with criminal histories do not have demonstrably lower crime rates (Olszewska, 2007).
- In one study, only 3% of college seniors who engaged in criminal misconduct during their time at school had reported any criminal history during the application process. Of the students who did report precollege criminal behavior, only 8.5% ended up committing any misconduct while at school (Runyan et al., 2013).
- A study of 88 active shooter events revealed that 70% of shooters had no criminal record at all, and over 75% had never been convicted of an offense prior to the shooting event (Gamache et al., 2015).
- Nearly two-thirds (62.5%) of SUNY applicants who disclose a prior felony conviction never complete their applications, compared to 21% of applicants with no criminal history (Center for Community Alternatives, 2015).
- For every student rejected by SUNY admissions committees because of a felony conviction, 15 do not complete their applications due to attrition (Center for Community Alternatives, 2015).
- Various SUNY schools request any of 38 different supplementary documents once an applicant discloses a felony conviction; this list includes documents that are redundant, difficult to obtain, or that do not exist (Center for Community Alternatives, 2015).