Do I Have to Report Suspensions or Infractions to Colleges After Acceptance?

March 23, 2021
Once you have been accepted to a college or university, you may feel like you have finished the college search process. After years of hard work, applications and continued uncertainty, it is relieving to see acceptance letters in the mail.  However, even after a student accepts an offer, the acceptance could be at risk.  Why? A college can revoke an acceptance offer if a high school is sanctioned for disciplinary infractions after their acceptance .

What Should a Student with a Disciplinary Incident Do?

If you get suspended or disciplined, you are obligated  to report the infraction to your college. It is important to self-report the infraction before the college finds out on its own.  Many students don’t realize that high schools are required to provide final transcripts and may also report the discipline before final transcript submission.

#1 Understanding Your College Acceptance

A college acceptance is based on the information a school has at its disposal. This information includes your grades, extracurricular activities and previous disciplinary history listed on your application.  It is imperative that all information included on an application is entirely accurate.  You may recall the fate of the students involved in the Varsity Blues admission scandal.

Like any other contractual offer, a college acceptance may be revoked at any time. Namely, if there were any inaccuracies on the original application or if there have been any new developments since the application was received. For some Common Application schools, applications must be updated to include such infractions after initial submission.

Ultimately, colleges hold the right to choose who may enroll, and disciplinary incidents may provide a new perspective regarding the student they admitted.

#2: Show Accountability

Self-reporting an incident maintains application transparency. When you are transparent about an infraction, you convey that you have learned from your previous missteps.

This signals to colleges that you are an honest applicant who is committed to owning up to your mistakes. If the mistake is minor, the college may appreciate this and maintain your college acceptance.

#3 Avoid Problems Down the Road

At the end of your high school career, many schools check your final transcript to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary. If a college learns about an unreported suspension or disciplinary incident, it raise serious red flags.

While timelines and grounds for rescinding admission vary from school to school, a college may make the decision late into the summer. This could interfere with your fall plans and put you in a difficult situation. Prompt self-reporting helps prevent this late-summer uncertainty.

Advice: Speak to Your High School Guidance Counselor

After a suspension or other disciplinary action, you should first speak with your guidance counselor. Since each infraction and disciplinary process is different, it is important to learn what your high school is required to report.

Some high schools may alert your college about the infraction automatically. A meeting with your counselor can help determine how your high school will act and what your duty to report may be. Generally, minor infractions like dress code violations or tardiness may not be enough to require an update to your college.

With that information, you may want to consider additional resources to help fight disciplinary action. Especially if the infraction is severe, it is important to use all of your resources to help protect your future.

Reach out to an Attorney Before Your Student is Disciplined

It is crucial to reach out to a seasoned defense attorney when your student is facing a disciplinary proceeding.  The stakes are high.  By engaging an attorney early on, you may be able to avoid discipline entirely or secure a disciplinary notation that does not threaten a college acceptance.