While some colleges have asked about student conduct for decades, hundreds are now seeking the information through the common application accepted by 315 schools. For the first time last year, the form added questions for students and guidance counselors about whether applicants have ever been punished for academic or behavioral misconduct that led to probation, suspension, removal, dismissal, or expulsion. It also asks whether they have been convicted of a crime. - Boston.com
As one man in the article says, this is a very sticky issue. The students who leave the section blank are dishonest and I agree with the colleges who don't consider these kids. If you have committed a crime or have been punished in school, then say it! If you haven't, then select "No". If you leave it blank, you are hiding something and I'm not so sure I would want to admit a suspicious student. There are different degrees of severity in terms of what a student has done, so in some cases it may not be even that bad of an offense (a silly mistake).