A degree verification is often a part of a background check, usually for employment. Nowadays, it is expected that most potential employers will use a background check service, which will do a degree verification as part of the check. To avoid any potential embarrassment, it's useful to see what a potential employer may see from your record before you make claims on your resume.

Step 1

Check to see if your school participates in a large clearinghouse. Many schools use large clearinghouses such as National Student Clearinghouse. Background check services also have accounts there, too, so they can do their job at a discount in bulk. They can retrieve degree and attendance information, but not grades or grade point averages. A verification only takes a few minutes. If your name and information fails to come up during this degree verification, this may lead to a series of embarrassing questions for you, if not an outright termination of employment.

Step 2

If your school does not use a clearinghouse, the background check will involve getting a paper copy of your transcript directly from your school. This transcript will list dates of attendance, grades and degrees conferred. The background check service will not accept a transcript provided by you to do the degree verification, even if the envelope for the transcript looks sealed with a stamp -- the transcript must come to them directly from the school.

Step 3

If necessary, ask a potential employer if your school is acceptable for employment. Most services do not make a determination as to whether a school is accredited or not. That is a judgment left for the employer to decide. If your school has questionable accreditation, all they will do is pull a copy of your transcript from the school and tell your employer that the degree verification has been completed.

It is advisable to tell your employer of questionable accreditation if you think it may matter in the job interview process.

Step 4

If you are still worried about how your educational background may be seen, order a degree verification yourself to see how it looks.