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Enrollment Conduct Review

Penn State has the responsibility to set and to maintain standards of conduct for members of the community and for those seeking enrollment. When information suggests that the prior behavior of an applicant may endanger the health and safety of others, jeopardize University property, and/or adversely affect the University's educational mission, a review is required. 

If the University learns that a current student, newly enrolled student, or applicant for re-enrollment has been involved in: 

  • prior misconduct 

  • incarceration 

  • illegal activities 

the University reserves the right to determine whether that person may be a student at the University. 

The presence of prior conduct or criminal history DOES NOT automatically preclude enrollment. In fact, the majority of conduct reviews result in successful enrollment. However, in some circumstances, the review may result in the student being denied enrollment, or, if the review is of a current student, the University may prevent the student from enrolling in a subsequent semester. 

*These review procedures apply to non-degree-seeking, degree-seeking, and provisional admission as well as changes from non-degree-seeking/provisional to degree-seeking status. 


  1. Students will not be considered for enrollment in residential instruction while incarcerated in any federal, state, county, or city prison or jail, including youth detention centers. 

  2. Incarcerated individuals enrolled in non-residential University programs or courses are subject to review procedures prior to consideration for a change from non-residential to residential instruction. 

  3. Individuals on parole, probation, or any type of intermediate punishment or house arrest program may be subject to review procedures. 

  4. Individuals with conduct history resulting in separation from a previous school may be subject to review procedures. 

  5. Individuals with known emotional and/or psychological problems who have violated the law, or engaged in misconduct related to the policies of another university or secondary school that was disruptive or threatening to the functioning and well-being of self or others, are subject to review procedures. 

  6. Individuals, who provide inaccurate information throughout the review process, including any misleading or false responses to the criminal, conduct, and academic integrity questions contained in the University’s enrollment forms, may be subject to rescission of admission or administrative dismissal procedures. 


To be considered for enrollment, consistent with the above rationale and guidelines, the following review procedures may be required. Additional information may be required based on the nature of the misconduct and/or specific facts of an applicant’s or student's case. This process is administered by the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response working closely with other offices, such as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, Graduate School, University Health Services, or Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, as appropriate. 

  1. For the duration of the review and lasting until the student is cleared to continue with enrollment, the Office of Student Accountability & Conflict Response will place a registration hold on the student’s LionPATH account that will preclude the student from registering for University programing including New Student Orientation and classes. 

  1. Letter of explanation clarifying the nature of the offense(s) and consequences experienced (including prior school or court resolution); any counseling, diversionary, or other programs completed (including documentation or independent verification); current status (e.g., incarcerated, supervised, eligibility to return to prior institution); and the applicant's or student's plan for future success. 

  1. Release of information from parole or probation supervisors, prison officials, treatment specialists (e.g., counselor, psychiatrist), caseworkers, secondary or post-secondary school administrators, and/or other professionals/references may be requested when the information has a direct bearing on the student’s behavior and suitability for enrollment at the University. 

  1. Depending on the nature of the facts with respect to the student, special requirements may be stipulated, such as, but not limited to, a personal review; a signed release with any treating psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist; a psychiatric or psychological evaluation by University counseling staff; or a comprehensive diagnostic/treatment report from a duly recognized mental health practitioner of the University’s choice. 

  1. After documentary and testimonial materials have been collected, the senior director of the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response will render a final decision, notifying the student as well as appropriate University offices and departments (e.g., Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions, University Registrar). Depending on the nature of the misconduct or relevant concern, the decision may be made in consultation with the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, University Health Services, or another health care provider chosen by University staff. If the decision is to approve the applicant for enrollment consideration, there may be additional requirements or expectations upon enrollment. 

All circumstances and correspondence relative to the above reviews shall be directed to the Senior Director of the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response.