Education Background Check

As many as 75% of employers have caught job seekers lying on their resumes. Candidates often embellish their educational background to land better jobs. False reporting can cause serious harm to any business, both reputational and monetary.

Education background check services can help you protect your organization from dishonest and unqualified employees. We curated a list of the most reliable education verification providers using a rigorous selection process. Scroll down to discover the best educational background verifiers you can hire.

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The Top Education Verification Services

GoodHire Logo

GoodHire

Simply Better. Start to Finish.

Driven by its statement to provide a “better way to do employment background checks,” GoodHire is a technology-first firm with a seamless user experience built into its DNA. Over 80,000 businesses of all sizes have already entrusted GoodHire with their employment screening needs, stating it’s the best background check service for employers due to its ease of use and speedy turnaround times.

  • Civil & Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Drug Screening
Sterling Logo

Sterling

People First, Always.

Since 1975, Sterling has been focused on helping organizations build trust and safety for their employees, customers, and business partners. Over 40,000+ businesses globally rely on Sterling’s advanced employee background check solutions to recruit, hire, and monitor their teams. With decades of experience, expertise in dozens of industries, multiple integrations, and fast turnaround times, Sterling is one of the best employee background check providers to hire.

  • Civil and Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
InfoMart Logo

InfoMart

Make Background Screening Easy for You & Your Applicants

Established in 1989, InfoMart is a leading background check company built on world-class customer support and responsible business practices. It offers a wide range of services and caters to dozens of industries. By blending expertise and technological innovation, InfoMart consistently ranks as the best background check website.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Sanctions Searches
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
Verified Credentials Logo

Verified Credentials

Trusted Background Screening Since 1984.

Founded in 1984, Verified Credentials is among the leading pre-employment background check and personal background check companies known for their premium customer service and a variety of screening services. Its live support representatives take as little as five to eight seconds on average to answer. The company delivers fast and accurate results for a variety of business needs and industries.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
Peopletrail logo

Peopletrail

Discover the Safest Hiring Trail With Peopletrail's Advanced Employment Background Checks.

Peopletrail is a premier employment screening company known for its unique Actionable Insights model. It means organizing data in the reports in a way that will further assist hiring managers in their decision-making process, all that with an industry-leading turnaround time of 1.6 days. Over 20,000+ businesses use Peopletrail as their criminal background company of choice.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
Accurate Logo

Accurate

Screening, optimized.

With a 98.5% client retention rate, 90% first call resolution, and a team of 1,700+ screening experts, AccurateNow is the go-to provider of background check services for small businesses. Marrying advanced processes and intelligent technology, AccurateNow provides an optimized background screening experience for both candidates and employers. Its employee background check process delivers a 99.99% accuracy rate, allowing employers to hire with peace of mind.

  • Business Intelligence
  • Employment Credit Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
IntelliCorp Logo

IntelliCorp

Advance Your Hiring Practices

Established in 1996, IntelliCorp is committed to continued investment in new products and technologies, superior customer care, and forward-thinking leadership. Its screening solutions cover diverse needs from pre-employment to tenant screening. The company offers one the best background checks for employers including reliable healthcare screening packages and add-ons that provide extra protection for this highly regulated industry.

  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks 
  • International Background Checks 
  • Drug Screening
Intelifi Logo

Intelifi

Better Background Checks.

Intelifi is both a software developer and data provider. Bringing together the best of both worlds, it offers comprehensive screening solutions, built-in compliance tools, human and AI record reviews, and seamless functionality. The firm is committed to providing the highest quality data for clients to make more informed hiring and renting decisions. More than 10,000 businesses are growing with Intelifi’s EMERGE screening platform and comprehensive background checks.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Records
  • Drug Screening

How We Handpicked the Most Reliable Educational Background Check Services

We developed comprehensive criteria to select the most reliable education verification companies. Below, you can find out more about our selection process. 

Verifying Reputation and Track Record

We start our research process with an in-depth website check, evaluating the security, functionality, and overall experience. We click on every social button along the way to examine their web presence. We take notes of what companies advertise as their biggest strengths and later verify their accuracy by going through customer feedback from reputable third-party review sites, Google ratings and reviews, social media profiles, and other places. Only education background check companies with verified reviews and overall positive rank are considered for further evaluation. 

Verifying Compliance

Agencies that perform education verification for employment must respect the requirements outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that protects student records. All of the companies featured on our list respect these requirements along with local laws and best practices.

While you can find education credentials on people search sites, this information is not equivalent to education verifications you can receive from FCRA-compliant consumer reporting agencies. You can use public records sites only for personal purposes, not to make hiring decisions.

Employers, on the other hand, must obtain candidates’ written consent to perform an education records background check and additional pre-employment verifications. Then, should you decide not to hire someone based on the results, you must follow the FCRA adverse action process. Your company of choice should make you aware of all the laws and requirements related to screening applicants and ensure the entire procedure is conducted in accordance with those rules. We, therefore, made sure that the companies we feature abide by all applicable legal requirements.

Service Evaluation

Most education background check providers are, in fact, FCRA-compliant employment background check companies or other consumer reporting agencies. Some of these firms offer a full suite of services and verifications for employers, lenders, and property owners, while others limit their offering to pre-employment screening. Education verifications are usually available as an add-on to pre-employment background checks. Some companies also include these verifications in their premium packages. These agencies typically offer the following services besides education verification services

FCRA-compliant firms can also provide tenant screening services, including previous addresses, employment history, credit score, credit reports, eviction history, and other searches. 

Ease of Use and Quality

After reputation and compliance verification and detailed services evaluation, we continue to examine the education verification services companies that made it this far for their functionality, accuracy, and overall quality. 

We interview companies’ long-year clients, asking them if they have experienced any irregularities and mistakes in the reports and how often. Is it easy to navigate through the client portal and order background checks and other verifications they need? Are the reports easy to process and do they provide valuable insights? We additionally ask for sample reports to see for ourselves. 

We also present ourselves as prospective clients and ask companies multiple questions about their academic background check research process and practices. Do they verify the candidate’s identity with an SSN trace and by searching all names and aliases? Do they go beyond three attempts when verifying educational credentials and professional licenses, and if they do so, do they disclose that? Many subpar companies conduct three attempts for education and employment verifications, marking “no data available” if no one responds. This means that data might be available but you’ll receive an incomplete education history background check because of a lack of effort or transparency. 

We filled our list with trustworthy companies with access to reliable and up-to-date databases to verify education-related information like schools, attendance dates, degrees, diplomas, and certifications. These FCRA-compliant agencies can confirm the accreditation of each educational institution and recognize sneaky diploma mills. 

Speed

Typically, education verifications are delivered within 72 hours, for domestic search. That said, factors like seasonal school closures, federal holidays, older records that need to be obtained from educational institutions that went out of business, level of the degree or diploma, international verifications, and other circumstances can slow down the process. Additionally, International educational verification usually takes between five and 10 business days. 

Customer Service

Consumer reporting agencies are usually reachable via phone, email, and in some cases, live chat. We contact them via all possible channels to ensure they provide prompt and high-quality support. We intentionally ask multiple questions to see if their representatives are knowledgeable, attentive, and willing to offer personalized solutions. Excellent customer support is a critical factor in our selection process. Every company on our list has earned its spot by proving they care about both existing and prospective clients. 

Pricing

Education verification services are available as an add-on to employment background checks. If you need an entire employment screening program, many top companies will allow you to create a custom package where you can add all the verifications you need and possibly receive a discount for the bundle. Many background check companies are also willing to lower their prices if you commit to ordering a certain number of checks per year.

The cost of these services goes from $7 to $20 per single school/institution, plus any fees that may apply. The education verification clearinghouse fees range between $0 and $20. Note that if you need verifications from multiple schools and institutions, you must pay separately for each. Given that 85% of job seekers lie on their resumes, spending a few more dollars on a more comprehensive background check and overall screening is better than losing thousands of dollars because of an unqualified employee.

How to Choose the Best Education Verification Services Provider for Your Organization

Any company that has passed our rigorous selection process can deliver reliable education verifications, but which one is the most fitting for your business and budget? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to recognize the real deal.

Define Your Needs

Since these services are most often sold as add-ons to employment background checks, look at the bigger picture. How many background checks per year do you need? Do you want to create a personalized background checking program, or are you better off ordering pre-made bundles? Do you need basic or more comprehensive background screening? Are you operating in a highly-regulated industry that requires advanced screening? Outline your education background check and overall screening needs and non-negotiables before discussing offers with potential companies. 

Compare Packages and Services to Find the Best Overall Deal

Most companies in this sector have pre-made packages along with add-ons, leaving room for personalization. If you need a higher volume of background checks, most firms can help you create a custom screening program and automate your workflows. 

Compare offers before making the final decision. Are the vendors willing to go the extra mile to confirm educational credentials? Do they have access to reliable databases and can they recognize diploma mills? Some packages might seem a better deal because they include the most services and verifications at a discounted price, but do you need all of them? For some employers, a high school education background check is enough. The best deal is the one that pairs the best value with everything you need.

Select the Best Overall Value Within Your Budget

Once you understand the costs of background screening and education verification, you can set a realistic budget. Review your top choices and ultimately choose the one company that provides the highest value for your business.

Bonus Tips on How to Spot a Fake Degree on a Resume

A fake degree, diploma, or certificate isn’t necessarily immediately apparent during an education background check, but some signs indicate false reporting. Here are the red flags you should be aware of when reviewing someone’s academic history: 

Students need at least three to four years to earn a Bachelor’s degree, while Master’s studies can take one to two years. A Ph.D. meanwhile takes four or more years to complete. If a candidate lists multiple degrees earned over a short period or during the same years, don’t take their word for it. Use reputable education verification services to verify that is indeed so. 

A person that has reached certain educational levels would know in which order those achievements took place. When listing education credentials, a high school diploma/GED should come first, followed by an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and Master’s or Doctoral degree. If an applicant has provided this information in the wrong order, it’s wise to take a closer look or have an education background check company do it for you.

To make their fake educational claims more convincing, applicants often use names similar to well-known educational institutions. While some universities indeed have similar names, it’s better to conduct further investigations to verify the claims.

An applicant might claim they earned a degree in a state or city far away from the geographical locations where they are born or live and work. You want to check if the listed institutions are accredited or diploma mills.

Education Background Check FAQs

Why should employers verify education?

The main reasons why you should verify the education of your prospective employees include: 

How do background checks verify education?

First, the employer needs to obtain basic information from the applicant, including the full name they graduated under, name and address of the educational institution, dates of attendance, title and field of the degree, and written permission for background screening. From here, employers can choose the DIY route, which is more time-consuming and less reliable. 

Most employers rely on third-party education verification services to confirm the educational credentials sans the hassle. These companies have access to multiple databases and use the listed educational institutions and the National Student Clearinghouse to provide quick and accurate verifications.

How is international education verified?

Employers receiving claims of degrees earned abroad should be extra careful, as many candidates use it as a way to embellish their educational background falsely. The international education verification process is the same as domestic education verifications but you have to ensure you hire a company that has access to reliable foreign databases. International credentials typically require more time and effort to verify, making these services more expensive.

What does an education background check show? 

An education background check includes information on whether a candidate attended the educational institutions they claimed in the application, proof of degrees, diplomas, certificates, and dates of attendance. In some instances, employers can also request to see GPA and honors earned. Professional license verification is a separate process that isn’t included in education background checks. 

Do background checks show GPA?

The grad point average is not disclosed in a standard and education background check for employment or otherwise. For positions where GPA is necessary, like higher education teaching jobs, candidates are usually asked to submit a transcript or give legal permission to companies to contact their universities. 

How far back do education background checks go?

While criminal background screening companies can report most criminal records for seven years, the FCRA doesn’t have any time restrictions regarding educational verifications. The education background check can go as far back as needed to confirm accreditations and accuracy.