Admissions Policy for Applicants with Criminal History

  1. PURPOSE

    Pursuant to University of Colorado Boulder's Policy Regarding Applicant Criminal History and Pre-Admission Crimes ("Policy"), the Director of Admissions has charged the Admissions Crime Review Committee ("ACRC") to review and make decisions regarding the following:
    1. Whether applicants for student admission who provide affirmative responses to the application's criminal history question shall be further considered in the admissions process.
    2. Whether students, who after enrollment (or confirmed intent to enroll), are charged with a serious crime and a prosecuting jurisdiction has made final disposition of such charges, shall be eligible to continue to enroll or admitted status shall be revoked.

    This document establishes the ACRC's operating procedures and processes in response to its delegation of authority in the Policy.

  2. PROCEDURES
    1. ACRC Composition: The ACRC is a standing committee chaired by the Director of Admissions, or designee, comprised of cross-campus representatives from the Office of Admissions, Division of Continuing Education, Graduate School, Office of Student Conduct, University of Colorado Police Department (UCPD), Veteran Services, Parent Relations, and Department of Housing and Dining Services. Representatives from the Office of University Counsel and Risk Management are available as consultants.
    2. Application Question: The ACRC is responsible for drafting and updating, if needed, a criminal history question to be included on the application for undergraduate or graduate degree admission, the MBA application, the Law School application and the "Convictions" question on the University's application for non-degree admission to the Division of Continuing Education ("Question") .
    3. Affirmative Responses: If an applicant responds "yes" to the Question, the following steps will be taken:
      1. Supplemental Form: The respective office in which applicant is applying for admission will send the applicant or student notification that he or she is required to provide an explanation regarding the incident in question (in addition to any other information the applicant would like considered) and consent to a background check . The form titled, Criminal History Supplement Form will be used for this purpose ("Supplemental Form). Applicants can download the Supplemental Form from the admission application or it will be sent to the applicant from the respective office they are applying to for admission.
      2. Investigation and Decision:
        1. Preliminary Review: A representative from the respective admissions unit (Office of Admissions, Law School, Leeds School of Business for MBA applicants, Graduate School, or Division of Continuing Education) will initially review the applicant's completed Supplement Form. If the respective unit determines that the crime(s)/offense(s) is of a nature that does not pose a potential risk to the university community, the unit may clear the application to proceed in the admission process ("Eligible for Admission"). Convictions involving, but not limited to, violence, sexual conduct, or weapons will not be cleared and must proceed to the next step in the investigation.
        2. Background Check: If the unit representative believes that the nature of the crime(s) or offense(s) warrant a further review, then the unit representative will contact the Background Investigator at the University of Colorado Police Department (UCPD) and provide the Background Investigator the Supplemental Form. The Background Investigator, or designee, will conduct a background check into the applicant's relevant history. The background check will include, in most instances, database CBI Record review, an arresting agency record request, and a Background Information Services Inc. (BISI) review.

          If during the background check, the Background Investigator finds information about crimes against persons (including sex offenses), multiple offenses, or significant property crimes, the Background Investigator will make a good faith effort to obtain a copy of the police report, and to communicate with investigating officers, probation officers, and prosecutors related to those investigations, if the Background Investigator deems it is necessary to have such additional information. In addition, an interview with the applicant may be conducted, and, in some instances, in the sole discretion of the Background Investigator, witnesses and/or victims may be contacted. The background check file is archived at the UCPD, along with other background investigations, and kept for a minimum of three years.
        3. ACRC Review and Determination: The Background Investigator will provide a summary of the background check to the ACRC. The ACRC will consider the background check summary, the nature, severity and timing of the underlying conduct, and any information that the applicant provided. If ACRC finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant's conduct poses an unreasonable risk to the safety or security of others in the campus community, the applicant will not be Eligible for Admission. If the ACRC decides the applicant is Eligible for Admission, the ACRC may condition continued eligibility upon the applicant's compliance with criteria specified by the ACRC, including, but not limited to drug and alcohol evaluation or clinical support or not being eligible for on-campus housing.
          1. Not Eligible: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is not Eligible for Admission, the Background Investigator will send written notification to the applicant.
          2. Eligible: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is Eligible for Admission the respective unit office will update the applicant's admission application to show the application is allowed to continue through the admission process and the Background Investigator will send written notification to the applicant.
          3. Eligible with Specific Conditions: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is Eligible for Admission with conditions, the committee will send written notification to the applicant.
        4. Registered Sex Offenders: If the ACRC determines a registered sex offender is Eligible for Admission, and the applicant is ultimately admitted, the ACRC shall determine whether the applicant is eligible to reside in university housing. Such decision will be communicated to the admittee in the letter notifying the admittee of his/her admission. If an admitted sex offender is allowed to reside on campus, he/she must comply with any and all registration requirements per state law, in addition to registering with UCPD.
        5. Appeals: The affected applicant may appeal an ACRC decision when new information is available that was not included or available in the initial review of the applicant's file and can be provided as part of the appeal. To request any appeal, the applicant must submit a written letter to the ACRC, stating the grounds for the appeal, and a request to be re-considered. This letter must be addressed to the Admissions Crime Review Committee, c/o Background Investigator, University of Colorado Police Department, 1050 Regent Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80309. The applicant will be notified in writing by the Background Investigator of the results of the appeal.

          Should the applicant's appeal be denied, the applicant may request in writing that the appeal be submitted for a review to the Dean of Students. In this event, the ACRC will inform the Dean and provide the Dean with the applicant's file, including information relevant to ACRC's decision and the applicant's appeal. Either the Dean of Students, or the ACRC will notify the applicant in writing of the result of the Dean of Student's review.
        6. Already Enrolled Students: Pursuant to Section IV(3) of the Policy, the procedures detailed immediately above in a-e shall also apply to already admitted and enrolled (or confirmed intent to enroll) students who are subsequently charged with a serious crime (1) and the prosecuting jurisdiction has made final disposition (2) of such charges. In such cases, ACRC shall decide whether the student is eligible to continue to enroll, whether the student's prior admission will be revoked, or whether the student will be eligible to enroll based upon condition continued eligibility. The ACRC's decision will be communicated in writing to the student or may be subsequently amended, whichever is applicable.
      3. Conditions applicable to all Applicants Eligible for Admission: The following conditions apply to all applicants who the ACRC determines are Eligible for Admission:
        1. The applicant must not be charged with any further crimes pursued by a prosecuting jurisdiction.
        2. The applicant must complete all court ordered requirements.
        3. The applicant must meet with an Assistant Director in the Office of Student Conduct, no later than one week prior to the academic semester, to discuss and comply with any additional conditions.

        If an applicant fails to comply with these or any other admission conditions prior to enrollment, the ACRC may revoke its prior determination and make the applicant not Eligible for Admission. If the applicant fails to comply with admission conditions after enrollment, it is a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

(1) The Policy defines serious crime as "any crime that is of a violent or serious nature and poses a potential threat to the safety of the campus community, specifically including, but not limited to, drug trafficking, sex offenses, manslaughter, and homicide."

(2) The Policy defines final disposition as "charges dropped, not guilty verdict, conviction, guilty plea, or no contest plea."


(Updated August 2013)

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