It is common knowledge that a criminal conviction can have huge impacts on the rest of your life. One area that some people might not think about is their education. It is possible that a criminal conviction, such as those for fraud or identity theft, could prohibit you from receiving the education that you want and need.

Why would a criminal conviction prevent me from going to college?

On the application that you will fill out to go to a college or university, you might find a little box that asks you if you have been convicted of a crime. In some cases, that information could prevent you from being able to go to the school. The Obama administration is seeking to have that question removed from applications, but it could be asked later in the admission process. Removing the question isn’t all that easy for some colleges because they use the Common Application, which is a single application hosted by an off-site company that can be submitted to more than one institute of higher learning.

Why would colleges want to do away with the question?

It all comes down to second chances. If the colleges remove the question from the application, the applicants who have a criminal record would be more likely to attempt to be accepted as a student. That could mean that people who were on the wrong path before are given a chance to turn their life around and become a productive member of society. That is the ultimate goal for those involved in the criminal justice system.

As it stands, the question remains on many applications. The best way to avoid having to check the “Yes” box is to fight against the charges during the criminal justice process.

Source: FindLaw, “‘Beyond the Box’: U.S. Wants Colleges to Delay Conviction Questions,” Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed May 26, 2016