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Higher Ed in the News

Debate on fairness of student criminal-background checks

July 1, 2010

More than 60 percent of colleges consider applicants' criminal histories in admissions decisions, but less than half of those have formal policies for how to do so, according to the results of a survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars.

Of the colleges that ask for criminal or disciplinary histories, most do so on applications for admission. Still, only 38 percent of admissions staffs receive training on interpreting criminal records.

Campuses are continually exploring new ways to meet public expectations and to try to keep students safe. Criminal background checks—and not just self-disclosures—may become the industry standard, particularly for residential students, said Darby Dickerson, dean of Stetson University's College of Law.

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Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.