College Common App Drops Question About Discipline, Citing Racial Disparities

The Common Application is scrapping a question that asks applicants to reveal whether they have been subject to disciplinary action in high school, aiming to eliminate what it says could be an obstacle for Black students considering college.

For more than a decade, the application—submitted by more than 1 million students to more than 900 colleges and universities—requested that students disclose whether they’d been found responsible for a “disciplinary violation.” That could be academic or behavioral misconduct, and would have led to probation, suspension or expulsion.

After a deep dive into its own data earlier this year, funded by a Gates Foundation grant, the Common App found that Black applicants marked “yes” more than twice as often as white applicants. Black women were three times as likely as white women to say they’d been disciplined. And those who did give affirmative responses submitted applications at a lower rate.

“It’s clearly

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