Encouraging Higher Education for People with a Criminal History
Date:  09-23-2014

Ban the Box should apply to college applications, too
On December 9, 2009 Reentry Central posted an article about an important study done by The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) which provided data that confirmed some applicants are dismissed by college admissions administrators simply because they have checked the box asking if they had ever been convicted of crime. Reentry Central wrote:

American politicians and educators stand strong on the belief that higher education is necessary to succeed in life. Everyone, in their opinion, should have the right to go to college--except, in many cases, those with a criminal history. Entrance in the job market for people with a criminal history is almost non-existent, especially in today’s economy. Obtaining a college degree can give those with a criminal history a foot in an employer’s door. But not every American is welcome at college.

The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) offers an intriguing look behind college admission doors in a first-of-its-kind report on how formerly incarcerated persons fare when applying to college.


On September 21, 2014 the Editorial Board of the New York Times brought up this troubling issue again, and included a link to the CCA study, which can also be found in the Library section of the reentry Central website. The NY Times editorial argues for the elimination of the question regarding past convictions on college applications in order to give qualified people with a criminal past who have been rehabilitated a chance to improve their lives and earning power. Read more