Expunged Criminal Record and Graduate School Applications.
Today to mostly take some of the edge off of the requirements that I'd ultimately need to provide, I decided to preview a graduate student app for a top college I am considering.
I saw a section of the application for my literal #1 graduate school choice and was taken back a bit... It seems that I have to disclose something about myself and need a bit of advice.
Not only did they ask me about proverbial felonies, (I have none) but there was also a question about pleading nolo, first offender etc. for anything including misdemeanors.
When I was a junior in high school I had less than an oz of marijuana, was arrested, pleaded first offender, did community service, paid the fine(s), and ultimately was never *actually* convicted. In addition, I was told that the only people who can "see" the conviction are law enforcement and it was effectively sealed/expunged from my record.
I've since worked about 2-3 jobs including Walmart who I've heard do extensive background checks as well as federal work study, and several on-campus positions I'm wondering if it's ok to simply check 'No' in the box.
Still, i've been so shaken up lately since even while I made president's list status last semester, research, involvements, etc. that i'd still be reduced being to a convict.
It may seem that I'm over dramatic, but It literally feels like my hopes of GOOD graduate school are all but slipping away (especially from a top, competitive choice!)
I mean who would keep a former drug user vs. someone with a clean record if it came down to a limited number of seats in regard to the amount of applicants.
I am considering putting 'No' in the check box. I'm not sure if this will this get my application tossed, but I am hoping someone could offer advice? If I do disclose, I'm almost certain it'll end up at the bottom of the hypothetical stack if not tossed regardless...