Key Coverage

Why Illinois Won’t ‘Ban The Box’ On College Applications

Next year, the Common Application used by hundreds of colleges and universities will stop asking potential students about their criminal histories. Despite legislative efforts in Illinois, most campuses in the state continue to ask the question. Nationwide, roughly two-thirds of colleges and universities that completed a 2009 survey reported asking prospective students about their criminal histories.

Evidence suggests most applicants don’t keep going. A 2015 study from the Center for Community Alternatives found that of the nearly 3,000 people with felony convictions who began applications to the State University of New York, about two-thirds dropped out of the process — in part because of having to provide information about their convictions.