Not every would-be Colorado college student looks forward to the application process. Sometimes that botched ACT or SAT score can look a bit troublesome. Maybe some of those opted-for high school classes weren’t particularly challenging. Some students filling out university forms feel that they should have hit on those extracurriculars a bit more when they had the chance to do so.
Those concerns shouldn’t be trivialized; to applicants, they spell worrisome and sometimes problematic concerns. There is pressure to gain college entrance these days, and young people feel it.
Let’s put things in perspective, though. Feeling stressed over a missed opportunity to play sports or join the chess club during high school is one thing. It’s quite another for a young person with a criminal record who is staring at an application question soliciting details regarding a past arrest or conviction.
It would be naïve to think that a negative narrative on that score does not routinely influence college gatekeepers in Colorado and nationally to reject select applications and crush juveniles’ dreams.
What is often notable about that is that a no-admit decision can be based on a criminal matter of scant significance. Young people with otherwise sterling reputations and track records marked by consistent accomplishments can see their dreams waylaid or even shattered by a single indiscretion marked by something like underage drinking or alcohol possession.
Paying a fine or suffering some administrative exaction for such a “crime” might in some instances seem an appropriate outcome. Being denied the chance at a meaningful next-step opportunity in life, however, must certainly strike most people as being an unreasonable and harshly punitive reaction.
We’ll have a bit more to say about that in an upcoming blog post that spotlights a notable new development regarding prospective students’ criminal records in the context of college applications.