Graduate School with Disciplinary Probation

Hello All,
I have been applying to graduate schools for the fall and have run across one that is asking me about any disciplinary action taken against me in my time in undergraduate study. While an undergraduate, there was one instance where me and my roommates were put on disciplinary “probation”. We were caught smoking pot, as we were young and dumb freshmen trying to have a little fun. The only thing that happened was we paid a fine in cash, and were on “disciplinary probation” for the rest of the year. My good standing as a student was never removed, it wasn’t listed anywhere on my transcript, and I did not violate the terms of the probation so it ended when it was supposed to after a year. After the fact I have not been able to find anywhere that would indicate this event took place. Is it possible for the institution to find out about this event anyways? I know they always say this will not affect admission chances, however I have a very hard time believing that, and do not want to disclose this information unless I have to. Obviously I do not want to come off as hiding something from the graduate school, as I have no problem telling them about it if they were to inquire about it, but not if it is unnecessary to do so. If anybody has any words of wisdom or advice on this it would be greatly appreciated!

You have to disclose the information. This is the kind of thing that could show up in a background check or if they ask for records from the university. It’s possible that they may never find out - but it’s also possible that they will, and hiding it will be way worse for you than just being upfront.

That said, the vast majority of graduate programs will not care about this. In fact, it is better for you to matter-of-factly explain what happened than it is for them to find out you were hiding it.