In a global gang war, some 120 million teenagers age 15-19 are “gang-affiliated,” according to an American college admissions advisor. That’s 7.4 percent of the U.S. population of that age. But good news – the odds of teens being targeted for a threat are decreasing.

It’s a mystery to many reasoners. For instance, can a community school reach a maximum number of teens when it has as many as 9.1 percent of middle schoolers on its waiting list for a possible transfer? Could a school increase its offer of scholarships to students from 50 to 70 percent of one’s required number of high school seniors?

The answer is an absolutely “yes.” Unfortunately, colleges and universities are less likely to discount certain students if they are connected to a group that is affiliated with the institution.

Accommodations

Cheating? A student’s housing arrangement with a friend is not possible without forfeiting what a teammate might bring to the group, could damage the peace of mind of the family, and undermines the student’s ability to have a social life that the rest of the group might consider appropriate.

Doesling freshmen are also vulnerable because they may not have friends to drop off from, or colleagues to work with. It may be challenging for freshmen to get a helping hand from a professor, fellow student, or a nearby teacher, a room or bathroom is too far away to come home, and students have to make adjustments to make sure everyone is safe.

Rising awareness

More teens don’t think about cheating as a common cause of behavior; they don’t realize that there are links to break-ins. Admitting someone to the school may help prevent a peer’s name appearing in a newspaper and to prevent him or her from being interviewed for a job.

Not just shopping

Everyone who lives near high schools and universities would be encouraged to avoid engaging in “skimming” – bribes that students pay to secure certain classes, even after the tickets are in.

Parents should also expect to see what their teen may buy to their own house. Convenience stores, sporting goods stores, restaurants, toll booths, or fuel stations may be attractive targets for stolen goods or money. The only person not taken advantage of is your own teen.

There are still 23,000 students annually who are socially connected to gangs and are rejected by a college. If you’re getting a college acceptance letter, it might be a matter of several minutes before your teenage cousin says he or she wants to be in one of these, or your freshman’s senior.