Your ability to locate where someone goes to school depends on many factors. If the person has a common name, like Smith, Garcia, Jones or Johnson, then you will receive many results even when you limit your search by geography. The person’s age is another factor, as you likely will find information about people who at least have graduated from college.

Register for free on classmates.com, which is designed to connect former classmates. You must be over 18 years to register. You can find contact information about your friends and peers as well as disclose information about yourself. Social networking pages like facebook.com, twitter.com and linkedin.com also mention school affiliations.

Explore school directories. Post-secondary schools often publish online directories that list current students. For example, the University of California, Los Angeles, maintains a staff and student directory at directory.ucla.edu/search.php.

Search public information for awards and recognition. For instance, before attending an interview for a job, research your interviewer by reviewing local newspaper articles and community newsletters to determine if you attended the same school. You can create an interview or conversation advantage by recognizing a school connection.

Contact civic and professional associations to determine if the person is a member of local, regional or national groups. For example, a person interested in engineering might be a student member of the local chapter of engineers.

Access the individual's company website. Several businesses post information about employees, such as about their office location and contact number, along with academic and professional accomplishments, on a company website. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, professors and analysts are among the common people with academic information readily accessible online. For example, Disney's website posts highlights degrees and school affiliations of its management team (corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/management_team.html).

Tip

  • Expand your search to include siblings or relatives.

Tip

  • If you purchase a background check, you will unlikely recover information about where a person went to school. You can run background checks on essentially anyone by hiring a private investigator or using an online company like publicdata.com. However, information usually involves credit, litigation and criminal history.