NYU Will Stop Using Common App Question on Criminal/Disciplinary Records

August 1, 2016

New York University will announce today that it will stop considering at all a broad question on the Common Application about applicants' disciplinary and criminal records. The Education Department and many organizations have been pushing colleges to avoid policies that may punish students for incidents they have moved past, or for encounters with a law enforcement system that in some localities is seen as hostile to minority youth. NYU previously announced that it would stop considering answers to the Common Application question (which includes any discipline from ninth grade on) in the first review of applicants and would only consider answers for those who made it past the first review of applicants. Under a new policy, applicants will be asked not about all disciplinary or criminal records they may have, but only about violent incidents.

For example, the criminal question on the Common Application covers any crime. On the NYU application it sends those using the Common Application to apply, students will see a more focused question: "Within the last seven years after the age of 14, have you ever been convicted at trial, or pled guilty to, a criminal offense involving violence, physical force or the threat of physical force, a sexual offense, possession of a weapon, kidnapping, arson, or any offense which caused physical harm to another person?"

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