Education Verification: Check Transcripts, Enrollment, Diplomas (Employment)

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Background Checks | May 15, 2024

Education verification check demonstrated by a magnifying glass searching graduates with diplomas after submitting their education verification form with a checklist on the far right for education verification for employment.

Knowing how to conduct an education verification check is an important part of the hiring process, and individuals who are seeking professional positions should know the processes involved in education verification.

Certain professions and industries require specific skill sets, and by using different data sources and receiving instant education verification, employers and co-workers can feel confident about the knowledge of any member of the team.

Here’s how to check education transcripts, enrollment, and diplomas for employment purposes.

Education Verification Check
Background check searches education history, transcripts, diplomas, employment history, and more.

What Is an Education Verification Background Check?

An education verification background check is a background search that confirms past education, degrees, courses, training, or certifications earned by a specific individual applying for an open position.

By confirming the person in question is telling the truth on the application, employers can verify the candidate is trustworthy and ensure they are qualified for the vacancy.

Individuals applying for specific job openings in the education sector might be wondering what shows up on an education background check. If a person is nervous about a poor grade they received in one of their college courses, chances are they will be fine. However, lying about their history, fake degrees, or unreliable references are all valid reasons for why an employer may decline an applicant.

What Does Verification Mean in Education?

Typically, employment background checks include the individual’s past references and work history.1 In this case, an education background check analyzes whether the applicant is being honest in terms of their past schooling, degrees, and date of attendance at the institution.2

An education verification background check does not have a time limit. When compared with other employment, such as a criminal background check that may only go back up to 7 or 10 years depending on the state, there is no time limit on the extent of background investigations for education verification.

Without the time constraint of a “typical” background check, employers will be able to confirm the statements of the individual in question — no matter what year they received their diploma, completed their classes or earned a certification.

Furthermore, in some instances, the background check will also show extra bonuses and honors earned by the student. Some education verification background checks can also include the overall GPA at the respective college or university.

5 Things That Indicate a Fake Degree: Education Verification Check Tasks

What is examined during a background investigation? There are some red flags and warning signs that employers check, which can indicate a fake degree, including:

#1. Design of the Degree

One of the first ways that an employer can spot a fake degree is by its style and aesthetic.3 Any verified degree will have a gold seal and embossed label. Employers check for the watermark on the label and a genuine signature written in ink.

#2. Degree Earned Too Quickly

Although there are exceptions, most students will obtain a degree in 3-4 years. If there is a discrepancy in the date of the degree, this can be a red flag. Employers know that a Master’s degree will take an additional 1-2 years, and a Doctorate will take at least four more years.

#3. Location of the University

The university’s location and confirmation of the address can point to a false degree. If the university does not appear online, there are no mailing addresses linked to the university, or the address is not correct during online searches, this is usually an indicator of a fake degree.

#4. Certificate Language

Another indicator of a bogus degree is the language on the certificate.4 If the person claims to have graduated from a University in Virginia, the language should be English. Other languages that are not in line with the university’s location are a red flag. In addition, using Latin terminology is a clear stand-out that something may be wrong with the certificate. American universities use Latin words, whereas other countries, such as England or Scotland, may use UK-based spelling and non-Latin phrases.

#5. Authentication

A lack of authentication by the financial institution can also point to a non-degree. Employers perform authentication searches and run an education verification background check to confirm verification of enrollment for their potential employees.

Education Verification Process: Education Verification for Employment

Education checks are part of a level 2 records check, especially when the job involves minors in an educational setting.

Doing enough research beforehand ensures that employers are not held liable for hiring an unqualified person for a job, and is also part of ensuring that federal funds can be issued.

The following practices are common for an education verification check:

How To Find Verification of Enrollment

The first step in an education verification background check is to gather basic information about the person.5 The information needed to conduct the search includes the full name of the candidate, the name of the educational institution, the location of the institution, the dates attended, the title of the degree (i.e., Bachelor’s of Science), and a signed release from the person in question.

Next, contact the educational institution to confirm the attendance of the specified applicant in terms of the dates, degree, and major. After contacting the university, employers also research the institution to ensure it is credible and recognized by an accrediting agency.

Fill Out an Education Verification Form

An education verification form is a tool that can verify the past educational history of the person in question.

Individuals must enter the schools attended, degree earned, courses taken, and GPA to submit to the specific university for confirmation.

To do this, simply use the state list below for the state being checked, and enter the information required on the verification form.

How To Verify School and Degree

To verify school and degree, employers can simply ask the applicant to provide proof of accreditation to the financial institution and the degree earned.

Transcripts can be sent directly to the agency hiring.

Education Verification Check Laws All 50 States

Employers that perform an education verification check in their respective states must comply with state laws.

The following links outline what employers, in every state, can ask when conducting education verification, as well as the method for performing an education background check.

 

StateEducation Verification Check
AlabamaAlabama Credential Verification
AlaskaProgram Verification or Proof of Enrollment
ArizonaTranscripts and Student Records – Arizona Department of Education
ArkansasArkansas Department of Education
CaliforniaStudent Records & Transcripts – California Department of Education
ColoradoColorado Department of Education
ConnecticutState of Connecticut Educational Employer Verification
DelawareDivision of Professional Regulation
FloridaFlorida Department of Education
GeorgiaEnrollment Verification Audit
HawaiieHawaii HILLS CE Course Verification
IdahoIdaho State Department of Education
IllinoisIllinois State Board of Education
IndianaBPE: Closed Institutions & Student Records
IowaIowa Board of Educational Examiners
KansasKansas Board of Regents 
KentuckyeTranscript – Kentucky Department of Education
LouisianaStudent Transcript System
MaineMaine Department of Education
MarylandEducation Verification Request
MassachusettsMassachusetts Department of Higher Education
MichiganMichigan Department of Education
MinnesotaProfessional Educator Licensing and Standards Board of Education
MississippiThe Mississippi Department of Education
MissouriMissouri College Student Record Verification
MontanaMontana’s Official State Website – Education Information
NebraskaNebraska Department of Education
NevadaNevada Department of Education
New HampshireBureau of Credentialing
New JerseyCertification & Induction
New MexicoLicensure – New Mexico Public Education Department
New YorkOffice of Teaching Initiatives
North CarolinaState Higher Education Agency
North DakotaNorth Dakota Department of Public Intrusion
OhioOhio Department of Higher Education
OklahomaBackground Checks and Fingerprinting Information
OregonOregon Department of Education
PennsylvaniaClearances/Background Checks
Rhode IslandRhode Island State Employment Screening Laws
South CarolinaCertification Application and Background Check Procedures
South DakotaNorth Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board
TennesseeOffice of Educator Licensure Experience Verification Form
TexasCertificate and Transcript Search Information
UtahUtah System of Higher Education
VermontAgency of Education
VirginiaEnrollment Verification
WashingtonAbout Education Verification – DCYF
West VirginiaEduc Verification Guidelines
WisconsinGED/HSED Credential Verifications
WyomingWyoming Department of Education

How To Get an Education Verification Check Free

Is there a Free Education Verification Background Check? Yes, there is! Although some websites and corporations may charge a small fee, there are multiple online resources that provide employers with the tools to research a candidate’s educational history. Some include:

  • NSC Verifications — National Student Clearinghouse Verification Services is a background check service that verifies postsecondary enrollment and graduate information for most students enrolled in a U.S. educational institution. NSC can verify enrollment, certifications, degrees, graduation confirmation, and high school diplomas.
  • Reddit — Individuals can use the education verification tool on the Reddit website to find more information about the person in question.

What Is a Failed Education Verification?

A failed education verification is a portion of the background check that shows lies about an applicant’s attended institution, dates of attendance, degrees earned, diplomas earned, certifications, or courses taken.

Education discrepancies can be one of the main causes of a negative background check report.

Keep in mind that the extent of a job-related background screening can be 10 years or more depending on the state.

How Long Does Education Verification Take?

An international education verification may take longer than a national education verification. The typical turnaround time for an education verification check is around 3-4 days, although the time frame may vary based on each case.

By running an education verification check for a person’s diploma, courses, certifications, and institutions attended, employers are able to confirm that an applicant has the skills required, and is trustworthy for the position.

Frequently Asked Questions About an Education Verification Check

What Does Verification Mean in Education?

Education verification refers to the process that employers will use to determine if the applicant’s past educational history is correct, analyzing information such as the applicant’s GPA, educational institution, honors, major, minor programs of study, and degree received.

How Can I Verify a College Degree?

There are records offices at the specific school or third-party verification services.

How Do Employers Verify Education?

Employers can verify education by running an education verification background check to ensure the person in question is telling the truth regarding their educational history. They will need your permission to run the records check, usually given through your signature on a job application form.

Is There an International Education Verification Background Check?

An international education background check can help employers determine if a person is qualified for the position in question, even if they received their education in another country.

Is There a Free Education Verification Background Check? 

Free education verification background checks are available through the applicant’s school.


References

1Doyle, A. (2020). What is Included in an Employment Background Check? The Balance Careers. Retrieved from <https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-included-in-an-employee-background-check-2059599>

2Garcia, D. (2021). How do Employers Verify Education? A Quick Guide. Scout Logic Screening. Retrieved from <https://www.scoutlogicscreening.com/blog/how-do-employers-verify-education/>

3Qualification Check. (2019). 4 ways to identify a fake degree certificate. Qualification Check. Retrieved from <https://www.qualificationcheck.com/4-ways-to-identify-a-fake-degree-certificate/>

4Rea, C. (2018). 7 ways to spot a fake degree certificate. Luminate Prospects. Retrieved from <https://luminate.prospects.ac.uk/7-ways-to-spot-a-fake-degree-certificate>

5What’s the Turnaround Time for an Education Verification? ClariFacts. Retrieved from <https://clarifacts.com/faqs/education-verification-turnaround-time/>

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