Applying to college is a very stressful experience. This decision will control your future and that can be very scary for some people. If you have a criminal history as a juvenile, this can impact your chances of getting into the college or university you want to attend. Schools want to keep a good record of their students, and if they have some with a bad criminal background, they can decide to refuse that student’s admission to the school. If you have a record and have questions about what can happen when you apply to school, this page will give you the information you need.
These days, applying to school has become a very long process of filling out applications and answering questions about yourself and your academic history. A school will also ask you about your criminal background. At this point in the application, you might be nervous about how to answer this question. You need to be honest and say that you do have a history if you actually do. They will find out either way because most schools will check for this.
When they discover that you do have a criminal background, they might decide to refuse your admittance to the school. This is usually because they will have concerns about campus safety if you seem to be a risk. They might be afraid that you will put the other students in danger. They have to look out for the safety of all students, and sometimes this means refusing students with criminal histories, especially those who faced of violent offenses.
This sounds unfair but it is sadly a reality. If you have a record, the school might judge you based on this. Even if the offense was minor, they might think that you have the potential to commit a more serious crime, and then you will be under the care of the school and they can get in trouble along with you. Some schools will just automatically refuse you if they see you have a record. They want to keep their standards high and appealing to all people who are applying, and if their applicants see that they admit people with a criminal history, they might decide to choose a different school.
The best way to ensure your admittance to a good college or university is to avoid a juvenile record. This is not something you want a school to see when you are applying. You want them to see all the good things about you, like your grades and involvement in school activities. Even if the crime you faced was very small, it can still affect your chances.
Another good option is having your record expunged before you apply to school. Once you turn 18, you can get your record expunged, and you won’t have to tell people that you have a record.
Don’t Get Discouraged by Financial Aid Denial
Most financial aid is provided by the federal government. If you have a criminal history, you might run into an issue with getting financial aid from the government. This is because the government will not offer students financial aid if they have been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, or a drug crime. If you have committed some other type of crime, you might still qualify for government issued financial aid. However, even if you don’t qualify for the government’s financial aid, you can still get money to help you pay for college. Many private organizations provide grants, scholarships, and even loans for students that need help paying for college. If you know that you won’t get funding from the government, apply for private scholarships.
Apply to a School that Does Not Ask About Your Criminal History
Despite the fact that more and more schools run background checks on applicants, there is still a significant number of schools that do not run criminal background checks on potential students. These schools will not take your criminal history into account during the acceptance process. Consider applying to these schools in order to avoid the issue of your criminal record.
Embrace Your Criminal History
Your criminal record does not have to be a bad thing when applying to schools. You can turn this negative into a positive by embracing it and using it to your advantage in your application. For example, by being upfront and honest with schools about your criminal history, you will demonstrate that you are not hiding anything.
You can also address the issue of your criminal history in your college essay or your interview. College essays generally ask you to talk about a life changing experience that you have had. Explaining the circumstances of your arrest and what you learned from it can show your maturity and how you are attempting to better your life by applying to college. Also keep in mind that if you have an interview with a school, the interviewer might ask about your criminal history. You can explain how you have moved on from your criminal past, which will make your application even better.
Everyone wants to go to a good school to further their education, but this can be put at risk if you have a record. If you have any questions about getting into college with a juvenile criminal record, an attorney can help.