Does Having A Tattoo Affect Being Accepted In A University?


We all have a huge cacophony of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that we often yearn to let out into the world. While we try to express ourselves through countless things, which include music, writing, and painting; one way forever remains sacred: that is tattooing. Nothing compares to having something permanently written in your skin. And while history proves that there’ll always be something that stands in the face of all which is creative, this isn’t the case with tattoos; at least not anymore.

Being a relatively new trend, policies regarding tattoos may not be fully clear to everyone, especially those looking to apply to universities. On one hand, there’s the fact that universities are respectable institutions that thrive on uniformity. On the other hand, universities are also supposed to boost creativity, individuality, and self-expression. Where does that leave us? Can you actually get into a decent university while also having a tattoo? Here’s what it depends on:

The Nature of Your Tattoo

While tattoos won’t necessarily hurt your chances of getting accepted into a university, what your tattoo entails might do some damage. For example, no university would be comfortable accepting a student with a gang-affiliated tattoos; it simply spells trouble. In addition, if you have, or are thinking of getting an offensive piece of body art, you must keep in mind that certain universities may have policies related to offensive tattoos.

However, this doesn’t mean that having a regular tattoo will have a negative effect in any way. Having tattoo-related policies is as normal as having a dress code. Just as one is, sometimes, expected to wear certain clothes in which are respectful to their learning environment, people are also expected to maintain a certain level of decency when it comes to body art. Meaning: professional institutions won’t tolerate any tattoos that are extremist, sexist, racist, or that, in any way, contribute to a hostile learning environment.

General Attitudes Towards Tattoos

The tattoo culture has been massively spreading around the globe. In fact, research shows that about 38% of the Millennial population have at least one tattoo, which was in the year 2010. Meaning: people now, are a lot more accepting of tattoos as a form of self-expression. The advice always included in any guide to getting a tattoo, especially for the first time, is to make sure you’re fully on board with your tattoo idea. This only goes to show how tattoos have become so popular, as you can see people with tattoos everywhere today.

This popularity, needless to say, has had a huge impact on how institutions view tattoos. But, from there arises another concern, what if the rules differ when it comes to stricter countries? Well, it is commonly known that the only negative attitudes towards tattoos are either related to the stigma surrounding the topic, or related to tattoos that represent religiously/culturally offensive symbols. Regarding the social stigma, you’ll get a few dirty looks at the most, but as far as anything deemed culturally offensive, you won’t need to worry about universities, because you most likely won’t be allowed into the country. Either way, it is a problem that can be easily avoided simply by researching the country you’ll be studying in.

The Placement of Your Tattoo

Last, but not least, the chances of your tattoo getting in the way of you and university life could be slightly affected by the position of your tattoo. Face tattoos, for example, are commonly associated with criminals, which, despite being a stereotype, still has an effect on extremely conventional/strict institutions. Of course, it may not go as far as for them to deny you acceptance, but it may deduct a few points from your first impression score total.

As for other options for tattoo placement, unless there are certain cultural inhibitions against tattooing a certain area, your application process should go smoothly. Plus, don’t forget that university employees are there to help you so, don’t hesitate to inquire as much as you want.

That being said, if you happen to still have any concerns about your tattoo, you can always get whatever design your heart desires, but mind where you have it inked. If there’s a design you feel might be a bit problematic, there’s no need to get it on your forearm. Instead, consider getting it on your back or chest or somewhere that won’t be visible during your everyday interactions. And even if it shows, you could always try to conceal it using beauty products. However, it is important that you keep in mind that these two solutions are only to make you feel more secure rather than they are for universities.

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