Monday, December 9, 2019

University of Illinois drops criminal past question from admissions applications

Admissions applications to the University of Illinois campuses are no longer requiring students to disclose whether or not they have a criminal background.

A student-led coalition urged the university to remove questions about criminal and disciplinary history, saying it discouraged potential students from applying, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported.

To maintain the safety of the campus and to ensure those ultimately admitted do not pose a security threat, the criminal history questions were moved to the point after an admissions decision has been made but before students enroll, "balancing safety and access."

The policy is being adopted for all three university campuses in Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Springfield. Julian Parrott, assistant vice president for academic affairs for the university's admission system, said if the applicant has been convicted, or charges are pending, they must provide a description of the incident, the outcome and documents such as court records or parole requirements. Pending review of the information provided, a decision will be made whether to admit the student - with or without conditions - or rescind the offer.

This story aired on ABC 7 in Chicago on December 7, 2019.

Watch the story online.