Illustration showing GoodHire eduction and degree verification service.

Screening ServicesEducation verification

Education & Degree Verification

Make more informed decisions with an Education Verification background check. Verify that your candidate’s degree, education credentials, or professional license is valid.

Trust & Safety

The Importance Of Education Verification Background Checks

An Education Verification search confirms the education, degree, training, or certification claims of a candidate are true and identifies potential discrepancies before you hire. Sometimes referred to as an Education Background Check or an Education Check, this service is used to confirm educational experience at high schools, universities, colleges, and vocational schools.

Education Verifications help you:
  • Hire qualified, educated candidates more quickly
  • Mitigate risk of hiring a candidate with false education credentials
  • Protect your organization against liability claims
  • Comply with federal, state, local and industry regulations
Illustration showing a person reviewing a GoodHire employment verification positive result.


What Does An Education Verification Background Check Show?

Education Verification checks contact the universities, colleges, vocational schools, and high schools provided by the candidate to verify credentials:

  • Enrollment
  • Dates of attendance
  • Type of degree obtained
  • Major completion status
  • Graduation date
Illustration showing GoodHire education verification background check results for employment candidates.

Employment Screening

When To Use Professional License Verifications

Since some positions require both specific training as well as an active professional license, a Professional License Verification ensures your candidate is licensed to work in a specific vocation and reports the credential title, current status, and issue and expiration dates.

Licenses may be checked for positions such as:
  • Counselor & teacher license verification
  • Accountant, CPA & attorney license verification
  • Plumbing, electrician & land survey license verification
  • Cosmetologist & massage therapist license verification
  • Health care license verification (dentists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists)

Search Options

GoodHire’s Suite Of Education Verification Checks

GoodHire offers a full suite of background checks and employment screening services. The following table shows Education Verification checks offered, what each verifies, and types of degrees or licenses covered.

Education Verification


The high school, college, or university specified; US institutions only.


For one school: attendance dates, majors, and degrees, diplomas or certificates earned.

International Education Verification


The high school, college, or university specified; available for institutions in 226 countries.


For one school: attendance dates, majors, and degrees earned.

Professional License Verification


The professional license issuing authority specified.


For one license: issue date, expiration date, credential title, and current status.

Education Verification – Canada
(Contact Sales)


Canadian and non-Canadian institutions.


For one school: attendance dates, majors, and degrees earned.


What You Need to Know When Running Education Verifications

Employers using a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), like GoodHire, to run background checks to assess candidates during the hiring process have important responsibilities to ensure a fair and respectful process for the candidate, and to comply with various laws and regulations that govern employment screening.

Disclosure & Authorization
The FCRA requires employers to inform the candidate that they intend to run a background check, and obtain the candidate’s permission to do so.

Adverse Action
If the results of a background check prompts a decision to deny employment, the FCRA requires employers to follow specific adverse action steps.

It’s smart to verify a candidate’s education,
certification and degree claims.

A young woman in a graduation cap and gown holding her degree diploma and shaking a man's hand.
May 4, 2021 | Lin Pophal

Education Verification: Your Guide To Education Background Checks

This article will explain what an education background check is, as well as answer common questions about education checks, and explain how to do them so you can be confident in your hiring decisions. 


Education verification is an important part of the employee screening process and is a great way to verify your candidate has the education they say they have. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for candidates to exaggerate, or outright lie, about their education history or background—75% of employers have caught a lie on a resume. 

Further, 46% of respondents in a staffing poll said that they know someone who included false information when applying for a job, an increase of 25 points from a 2011 survey. This false reporting can put employers at risk of hiring people who are not qualified for the position, and potentially for negligent hiring claims as well. 

What Is An Education Background Check? 

An education background check is a process used by employers to confirm the education, training, or certification claims of candidates and to identify any potential discrepancies. Often performed by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), education background checks can be used to check applicants’ attendance at high schools, universities, and vocational schools, and verify degrees earned. 

Typically, education background checks do not verify a license to work in a specific vocation, which is a different type of screening called Professional License Verification. 

An education background check, also referred to as an education verification or an education check, is important because some candidates may not be forthright in sharing accurate information about their education backgrounds. In some cases, they may list schools they didn’t attend, or degrees they didn’t receive. 

Why Do Employers Need To Verify Education?

Employers need to verify education because, for many positions, formal education is a foundational indication of an applicant’s ability to do the job. You’ll want to verify that candidates have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform job functions. Educational background is one key indicator that they do. 

With the proliferation of what are often called “diploma mills”—online organizations that provide documentation of degrees for a price but don’t actually deliver or provide education—it’s increasingly easy for applicants to obtain fake degrees and other misleading credentials. 

Employers conduct education background checks to build a trustworthy team, protect their companies’ reputations, and verify that employees are qualified for the positions they’re hiring for. If not, your organization could be subject to liability.

What Is Included In An Education Background Check?

An education background check shows whether the educational claims that a candidate has made on their application or resume can be verified, and identifies potential discrepancies before you hire. This will encompass verifying the school attended, dates attended, degree or certificate (e.g. Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, etc.) earned, and in some cases may include honors achieved, areas of study, and GPA.

Is GPA Included In An Education Background Check?

GPAs are not typically included in an education background check provided by consumer reporting agencies. However, for positions where GPA is very relevant (higher ed teaching positions, for example), you may wish to request that candidates provide a transcript to verify their GPAs. 

How Far Back Do Education Background Checks Go?

For education background checks, consumer reporting agencies are free to check the background across a prospective employee’s entire lifetime. For other types of background checks there are rules, regulations and compliance requirements that may vary on a state and local level. 

How Long Does Education Verification Take?

Education verification takes just a few days in most cases. However, turnaround time is dependent on the responsiveness of the educational institution being queried and how readily available the information is to them. In some cases, they may need to access hard copy records which may take longer.

What Do I Need To Verify A Candidate’s Education?

To verify a candidate’s education, you would need to provide their date of birth, name at the time they were registered and, in some cases, their Social Security number. In addition, if you’re using a CRA to conduct a background check, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that you receive job applicants’ written consent.

How Can I Check International Educations? 

International education backgrounds can also be verified using a similar process to verifying education at US schools, colleges, and universities. GoodHire can conduct international education background checks for candidates who have previously studied or earned a degree at institutions in 226 countries.

What Are The Legal Regulations Around Education Verification?

When using a CRA, employers must follow federal compliance regulations and adhere to local laws when searching a candidate’s history and using background checks to make decisions about employment. Two important requirements relate to the FCRA, a federal law, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a regulatory agency. 

The FCRA requires employers to inform candidates that they will be conducting a background check and to obtain candidates’ written consent to do so. Further, if you consider not hiring a candidate based on information found in a background check – for example, if there is a discrepancy found in a candidate’s education check — you must follow the FCRA’s adverse action process.

The EEOC is concerned about any type of discrimination that may adversely impact some candidates over others. You need to be consistent in conducting background checks for all applicants, not just certain applicants based on age, race, etc. Local laws may also come into play based on both the locations you are hiring for and where applicants are located.

Clearly, compliance is a critical concern for any organization. The risk of hiring somebody who provided false education credentials can be significant both in terms of potential monetary liability and in terms of negative brand or reputation impact. Choosing the right background check company is an important part of protecting your company from this risk.

How Do I Get An Education Background Check?

Education background checks are an important part of the screening process when considering candidates for many jobs. They help provide assurance that candidates have the education and skills required for the job and minimize liability risks that employers may face if employees do not have the appropriate education for a job. 

Education background checks can be difficult and time-consuming for those who are not familiar with the process and have not done them before. Partnering with a background check company like GoodHire can remove the difficulty, streamline the process, and save you time so you can quickly get the assurance you need that your candidates have the education background they claim. 

Trusted by more than 80,000 employers, GoodHire is an accredited employment screening provider you can turn to for fast, reliable background checks.


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.