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May 11, 2016 06:50 AM EDT

College Applicants With Criminal Records Should Be Allowed To Pursue Higher Education: US Education Department

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The US Department of Education wants to help college applicants with criminal records to be able to pursue higher education in America's colleges and universities better.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The US Department of Education wants to clear some hurdles for college applicants with criminal records. They released a recommendation this week that urges US colleges and universities to look beyond criminal records so ex-convicts who intend to seek higher education can have a fair chance at admissions.

The new resource guide entitled "Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals" was posted on the US Department of Education's website. US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. stated that college applicants with criminal records should be given second chances. Their past convictions shouldn't hinder any opportunities that may better their lives including higher education.

The application which is used by college applicants will be revised, The New York Times reported. This means that the 2016 applications for fall will no longer have check boxes that ask students if they have been involved with "other crimes." Representatives from the Common Application will also review if there will be other things that should be revised from college applications as well.

A study revealed that more than half of college hopefuls who intended to apply for higher education did not finish applying because they had to note their past criminal records, UPI noted. With the new recommendations, formerly convicted individuals can have a fair chance at college admissions. Numerous officials were largely supportive of the US Department of Education's recommendations including President Barack Obama. He passed an executive order that federal employers can not ask about the criminal histories of an applicant or employee.

Do you agree with the US Department of Education's recommendations about people with criminal records who wish to pursue higher education? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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