<p>A reporter from US News is working on a story abouti on students who struggle with whether or not to disclose mental health illnesses or discipline problems on their college application for fear it will jeopardize their chances of admission. Here's the detail:</p>
...there's a difference between the student who was suspended for a "youthful indiscretion" and the student who suffers from depression. And yet there seems to be equal apprehension on the part of both groups that colleges will interpret a lapse in judgement or a mental health illness as a sign of a student who could pose a danger to others in a college community. So we'd like to hear from students, their families and guidance counselors about how they approach the decision to disclose or not to disclose. In each case, we'd like to know why they made that decision and how it played out in the end. We understand the rules are different depending on the circumstances: students who have a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder are obviously not asked to disclose such information on an application, but those students in the past might have chosen to write an essay about living with such a condition to either explain why their grades slipped one semester or to say that in spite of such a condition they have been highly successful. I'm curious to know if, for those students, that motivation still exists in a post Virginia Tech era. The common application does ask students to disclose any criminal history or history of disciplinary problems at school. But it is my understanding that there is no legal requirement that students or counselors respond to this question. Here, we'd like to know what "youthful indiscretions" or violations give students consternation and what those students ultimately decided to do -- disclose or not disclose? We realize this is a sensitive issue, particularly for students in the midst of applying to schools and wrestling with these dilemmas, so we would be prepare to offer anonimity.
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