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At Least 1-in-29 College Students Have Criminal Records

by Staff Writer 12/22/2009 3:22:00 PM

Actual cases of crime may be higher, as juvenile records are not reportable or included in this study

REDDING, CA, December 22, 2009 — Students with criminal records could be sitting in every classroom at colleges and universities in the United States, according to a new report. A nationwide study by, a leading supplier of criminal background checks for students and faculty members, revealed that approximately one out of every 29 college students across the nation had some type of previous criminal record.

The study of 13,859 students in 125 universities, career colleges, nursing schools, and other educational institutions found a variety of convictions from across the nation. The study only included criminal convictions and excluded arrest information that did not have a disposition. The study also excluded any charges that were dismissed by prosecutors. The convictions included in this study did not include juvenile records, which are not accessible to the public in most situations. Some states, counties, or parishes categorize crimes differently. For example, a conviction of theft in one court may be considered a conviction of fraud in another. The convictions uncovered were organized into the following categories and percentages:

  • Child Molestation (2.4%);
  • Sexual Abuse (5.2%);
  • Assault (4%);
  • Drug Possession (7.4%);
  • Theft (8.8%);
  • Fraud (2.7%);
  • Driving Violations (60%); and
  • Disorderly Conduct (9.5%).

“Parents sending children off to colleges and universities should closely view the background screening policies of those educational institutions,” stated Robert Mather, CEO of “A university can easily check criminal records of instructors or students for free,” Mather added. “There is no financial reason not to do so.”

Universities can find out more about this nationwide program by visiting

"We strongly encourage all concerned parents and alumni to forward this information to their children's school administrators and alumni associations," said Mather.

“The days of secrecy surrounding previous criminal activity in a university are gone,” Mather continued. “In today’s world, parents, faculty, and students wish to be educated about the criminal convictions of their roommates, students, or instructors and, at the least, engage in conversation surrounding the facts, beginning with the question: Is there a criminal in the classroom?”

About is one of the largest providers of “student-supplied” background check services to colleges and universities to use for their students, faculty members, contractors, and vendors. To learn more about student background checks, please visit To schedule interviews or to receive additional information, please email or call 1-800-300-1821.


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