Understanding the MBA Application Background Check

Photograph by Tetra Images/Corbis

If you’re applying to business school, chances are you’ll undergo a background check. B-school admissions officers outsource this process to the same companies employers do. On average, criminal record checks turn up information on people 12 percent to 15 percent of the time, says Diana Acuna, a product manager with the background screening firm HireRight, which performs checks for several of the business schools ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek. Acuna says that if a screen raises a red flag, schools may intensify their search on that applicant. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Erin Zlomek spoke to Acuna about other things B-school applicants may want to know about how background checks fit into the MBA admissions process. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.

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