HOW DO I APPLY FOR SCHOOL?
Applying for college or a program to further your education will require you to do more than just fill out the paper application. You will need to gather information together before you begin, so start early – keeping the deadline for admissions in mind – stay organized, and be prepared to pay application fees.
BAN THE BOX BILL – Maryland’s Fair Access to Education Act
Education is one of the best ways to reduce barriers to employment for people with criminal records. Even though this is well known, colleges routinely ask prospective students to check a box if they have been charged or convicted of a crime.
Maryland has now addressed that barrier to access to higher education.
This bill was just passed in January 2018 and is designed to help Marylanders with a criminal history get back on their feet and get a college education.
Maryland’s Fair Access to Education Act prohibits an institution of higher education that receives State funds from using an undergraduate admissions application that contains questions about the criminal history of the applicant. Instead, these colleges are required to consider merit and academic qualifications to determine admissions eligibility before they inquire into a prospective student’s criminal background.
However, an institution may use a third-party admissions application that contains questions about the criminal history of the applicant if the institution posts a notice on its website stating that a criminal history does not disqualify an applicant from admission.
IF A SCHOOL DOES NOT RECEIVE STATE FUNDS CAN THEY ASK ABOUT MY CRIMINAL BACKGROUND?
Yes. Or, as stated above, if the institution uses a third-party admissions application.
IF I HAD MY RECORD EXPUNGED, DO I NEED TO CHECK THE BOX AND ANSWER THE QUESTION?
The questions may look something like this:
Have you ever been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime?
You are not required to answer “yes” to this question, or provide an explanation, if the criminal adjudication or conviction has been expunged, sealed, pardoned, or otherwise required by law or ordered by a court to be confidential.
This is why expungement of any eligible records is an important step in reentry.
HOW MANY SCHOOLS DO I NEED TO APPLY TO IN ORDER TO GET IN ONE?
You may not get into the school that you are applying to, so it is always a good idea to apply to more than one. Applications are lengthy, and it takes time to do a really good job on each one, so reviews school and choose several that seen to fit you and your future plans. It is better to do a very good application for several schools than to see how many you can apply to. Each application will have an application fee required, so those can add up quickly.
WILL I NEED TO TAKE ANY EXAMS FOR ADMISSION?
The SAT measures your ability rather than knowledge. The 3 ¾-hour test contains three sections: writing, critical reading, and math. Most of the questions are multiple-choice.
Like the SAT, the ACT is accepted by almost all colleges and universities. But instead of measuring how you think, the ACT measures what you’ve learned in school.
If you are planning to attend graduate school, you will likely be asked to take one of the following exams:
Many students planning to attend graduate school take both the General and Subject GRE tests. The GRE General Test measures your verbal, quantitative (mathematical), and analytical writing skills.
There are other admissions tests such as the LSAT for law school admission, MCAT for medical school admission, and GMAT for graduate management admissions.
It is important to find out what tests the schools you are applying to require as you will need those scores as part of the application process.
WHAT OTHER INFORMATION WILL BE NEEDED FOR MY APPLICATION?
Even if you have been out of high school for many years, you will need to produce documents to attach to your application. You will need:
- transcripts from your high school
- transcripts from any other education program you attended
- letters of recommendation from people who know you and your work
- you will write an essay specific to the question on the application