NYU Makes Key Admissions Tweak
School de-emphasizes criminal records, promotes 'second chances'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2015 1:02 PM CDT
Scott Gamm, 20, a student at New York University's Stern School of Business, poses for a portrait, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – Having a criminal record isn't necessarily the barrier to getting into New York University that it used to be, thanks to an interesting tweak in admissions policies. While NYU is still accepting the Common Application—which asks applicants whether they have a record—it's changing the way in which it handles that question. Admissions officials won't see it on the first round of screening, so they'll make selections without regard to criminal past, reports NPR; after that, a committee will screen for anything that might endanger campus safety, but the goal here is to avoid discouraging students—particularly minority students—from applying based on the belief that they won't get in.

"We believe in second chances," says a VP for enrollment. Three other colleges in New York dropped the question altogether last year, the New York Times reported at the time.