Background Checks are a Regular Part of the MBA Admissions Process

By Chris Hassan
Posted February 05, 2013 11:00 AM

Business schools conduct background checks on applicants.
Business schools conduct background checks on applicants.

If business school candidates believe they will have a better chance of being accepted to their ideal Master of Business Administration (MBA) program if they fudge the truth on their applications, they could actually be setting themselves up for failure. After all, it is likely these individuals will be the subjects of business school background checks.

Diana Acuna, a product manager with HireRight, a background screening firm, recently informed Bloomberg Businessweek that her company helps several business schools perform background checks on applicants to MBA degree programs. For this reason, she knows that admissions officers typically want to know if applicants are being honest about their job history and schooling. It is also important for them to know whether or not candidates have any criminal history.

"If the person was charged with a crime, it may show up, even if the charges were dismissed or the person was considered not guilty," Acuna said. "In those cases, it would be up to the school to decide if they would consider it or not. If the record was expunged, we shouldn't be able to see that."

While background checks may make some MBA candidates feel uneasy, many business school officials view it as a necessary precaution to prevent dishonest individuals from gaining entry to programs, according to Poets & Quants.

Robert Dammon, dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, told Poets & Quants that a very small percentage of applicants end up being turned away due to information picked up during background checks.

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