April 8, 2019

Denver, CO – The Colorado State Senate today voted unanimously to advance SB19-170, Inquiry Into College Applicant Criminal History, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver) that would prohibit colleges and universities from asking applicants about their criminal or disciplinary histories. The bill now moves to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

“A college degree is important in today’s world, and we want to make sure that every Coloradan who applies to college is judged on their merits, not their past mistakes,” said Senator Rodriguez. “Banning the box on college applications will allow colleges and universities to fairly examine each application and increase opportunity for everyone, particularly children of color, LGBTQ youth, and students living in poverty.”

Nearly 90 percent of colleges rely on information about applicants’ disciplinary pasts, including K-12 suspensions and expulsions, to make their admissions decisions. SB19-170 would end that practice and help institutions of higher education get a full picture of each student rather than immediately disqualifying someone with a childhood record.SB19-170 would include an exception for convictions or disciplinary actions related to stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. For more information about this legislation, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-170.