Education verification

An education verification background check helps confirm your candidate has the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the position. Let Checkr take the hassle out of checking your candidate’s education history.

Job candidate shaking hands with two interview panelists

Why education verification background checks are important

Hire qualified candidates

Certain positions require a formal education or degree; confirm your candidate’s knowledge, skills and ability.

Identify any discrepancies

Certain positions require a formal education or degree; confirm your candidate’s knowledge, skills and ability.

Mitigate risk to your business

Education verification mitigates the risk of hiring a candidate with false education credentials and protects against liability claims.

Illustration of the Checkr dashboard showing education verification results

What you’ll learn from education verification

Checkr helps with education verification at high schools, universities, colleges, and vocational schools.

Enrollment and attendance

Verify your candidate’s enrollment history and dates of attendance.

Degree obtained

Validate the type of degree, such as a Bachelor’s degree, and major completion status.

Graduation date

Confirm the graduation date provided by your candidate is accurate. 

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Checkr’s education verification solutions

With Checkr, education verification is no longer a roadblock to fast hiring. We streamline the process to save you time so you can quickly get the assurance you need that your candidates have the education background they claim. Plus, our mobile-friendly candidate portal makes a complex process easy for your candidates to complete.

US education verification

Checkr can verify the highest degree obtained from high school and GED equivalents through doctorates. Generally, the education verification search will cover a person’s entire academic history up to their highest degree.

International education verification

Verify a candidate’s international education credentials of any educational level such as high school, college and post-grad at institutions in 200+ countries. May be used to confirm degree received, course of study, and dates of attendance. 

Professional license verification

Some industries and occupations require both specific training as well as an active license. A professional license verification check confirms your candidates’ licenses and certifications are active and in good standing. Learn more

Let Checkr conduct education verification checks for you.

Topics

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about education verification

An education verification is a background check used to confirm that a job candidate has attended the schools and earned the degrees, certifications, or other training they claimed on their resume or job application. Many employers conduct education verifications as part of the hiring process. Verifying education history helps ensure that a job applicant is being honest about their background and has the necessary education to perform the job. In some cases, verifying a person’s credentials or degree is required by your industry or by state, local, or federal laws. 

What is education verification?

Education verification searches are used to determine if a job applicant is telling the truth about the schools they attended, the degrees or diplomas they earned, or the certifications they obtained. Also known as an education check or education background check, this type of screening searches student records and contacts high schools, vocational schools, colleges, and universities to confirm a job candidate’s educational history. If a candidate has attended schools outside the United States, employers may want to conduct an international education verification.

Nearly four in 10 job candidates (39.25%) have claimed to hold a degree from a prestigious university they didn’t attend, a Monster survey found. Verifying a candidate’s educational achievements can help protect your company from the liability risks that hiring an unqualified candidate could pose.

Federal, state, and local laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), regulate employment background screenings, including education verifications. These laws dictate how employers or consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) can conduct background checks, what information the background check report can include, and how employers can use the results of a background check when making hiring decisions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also created guidance to help employers avoid discrimination when assessing background check results.

How do employers verify education?

To confirm education, employers ask candidates to provide school names, dates of attendance, and degrees earned. Employers can conduct an education background check themselves or use a CRA that offers background screenings to do so.

Employers who plan to conduct education background checks in-house can use the National Student Clearinghouse, a national online portal that verifies education histories. This requires registering with the clearinghouse and demonstrating that you have a valid reason to request the applicant’s information.

If you’re unable to verify the information this way—for example, a particular school isn’t in the National Student Clearinghouse database—you’ll need to contact each school that the candidate attended to confirm attendance dates, student enrollment, graduation date, and degrees earned.

Rather than going through this time-consuming process themselves, many employers find it more efficient and cost-effective to rely on an experienced CRA for education verifications. In addition to streamlining the verification process, CRAs are also experienced in authenticating schools listed on a resume.

For example, some job applicants visit online diploma mills to buy diplomas, credentials, or degrees from fictitious schools. Diploma mills often use school names similar to those of prestigious institutions, such as “University of Berkley” instead of “University of California, Berkeley,” hoping that busy hiring managers won’t notice the difference.

Candidates may even list false school phone numbers that are answered by someone at the diploma mill who confirms the candidate’s fabricated information. CRAs check whether a school is a legitimate, accredited institution and look for school contact information themselves, rather than relying on information applicants provide.

Do employers check degrees?

Since having a specific degree or certification may be one of the qualifications for a particular job, degree verification is a critical element of an education verification check. Employers or CRAs check to verify the degrees that a job applicant claims to have earned. This can range from high school degrees to college degrees and advanced degrees. Verifying degrees earned helps employers ensure that applicants are qualified for a position. It also helps companies protect against potential liability from hiring someone without the proper qualifications for a job.

What does an education background check show?

An education verification check searches available school records and may also contact the high school, vocational school, colleges, and universities listed on the candidate’s resume. The results of an education verification screening typically include:

  • Enrollment verification
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree earned (if any)
  • Major
  • Graduation date

An education verification screening usually checks the candidate’s complete academic history, from high school or GED equivalents up to the highest degree the person obtained.

Education verification generally doesn’t confirm a person’s GPA. If that information is relevant for the position, you can ask the candidate to share an official copy of their transcript from the school.

Education background checks are different from professional license verification. License verification confirms that a job applicant is licensed to work in a certain occupation. For example, an accountant, electrician, cosmetologist, or pharmacist typically needs to be licensed.

How far back do education background checks go?

The FCRA restricts how far back many types of background screenings—such as criminal records checks—can go. However, there are no such restrictions on education verification screenings. An employer can go back as many years as necessary to verify an applicant’s education history, starting with a high school degree or GED equivalent and going up to the highest degree attained.

Get an education verification background check with Checkr

Education verification is a crucial step in pre-employment background screenings for many employers. Confirming a candidate’s educational background can help you make more informed decisions about their suitability for a role. But the DIY approach to education verification can be time-consuming, error-prone, and risky if you accidentally run afoul of employment laws regarding background checks. Enlisting an experienced background check provider like Checkr can help.

Checkr’s advanced platform and expert team rapidly verifies applicants’ domestic and international education, including enrollment status, dates of attendance, major, and more. The mobile-friendly Checkr candidate portal gives job applicants visibility into the education verification process; they can even upload documents to confirm diplomas or certifications, if necessary. With Checkr, education verification is quick, accurate, and compliant, so you can hire quickly and with confidence.

Disclaimer

The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

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