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Schools that make you pay for your background check.

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Schools that make you pay for your background check. [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 03:44
So, now that I'm finished with the bulk of the apps for this round, I've started reading up and thinking about some other things. I saw that Wharton makes you pay $73 (don't know if that is current for this year) to run a background check if you are admitted. It sure feels like they are nickel & diming with this fee, especially since they understated their application fee on their own website.

I was wondering which other schools make you pay for this. It seems like something they should just figure into the application fee. I also started wondering exactly what they look into. I've been an entrepreneur for the last 4+ years so my work history for that period is pretty informal. I don't operate an HR department here.

Any admitted students been asked to pony up yet? Do they say what they are checking?
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 03:55
Ugh, thats a real nickel and dimer there. Wouldn't all the other denied apps cover that expense?

As for me - hasn't happened yet, in fact I think the GSB doesn't charge me . The letter I got telling me what to do was pretty clean, and didn't include sending money for a background check. Generally speaking, people think of background checks as someone "confirming" all this stuff with someone else. Really, its more they confirm what isnt the case than what is.

Typically, background checks at companies will include the stuff below - I dont imagine its terribly different for schools

* A credit check
* A criminal background check (and before anyone asks, no, that drug misdemeanor charge you had in 1995 isn't an issue. They are looking for violent crimes that could place people at risk. Rape, assault, battery, etc.)
* Occasionally they'll run public records (eg are you being sued by someone for something? I doubt schools do this)
* Employment verification (this is actually fairly rare believe it or not)
* Education verification (duh)

Thats pretty much it.

Last edited by rhyme on 12 Jan 2007, 03:59, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 03:56
Sounds a bit rich in some cases (ie Fortune company employment history) as that is easy to do. For yourself they may well earn it - they want to verify you history, so maybe contact your clients and see your accounts reflect what you said.

Sadly, I would guess $73 is an outsourced fee, and it will be for an indemnity on your application.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 05:16
What ryme said...everything I've read and heard about the background checks suggests that you have nothing to worry about unless you completely made stuff up on your app. People start freaking out about it because they rounded up their salary figures or guessed on the start date for some past job or a former company they worked for no longer exists. The background checks are meant to find the people who said they went to H/P/Y but really went to some community college, or people who hid their criminal record, or people who made up their employment history. It’s more of a deterrent than an effort to go out and bust you for some minor discrepancies.
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uhm [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 05:31
I just wonder how they can run background check toward international applicants? Should I notify my bosses(also my recommenders in Vietnam) to prepare for a call from an English-speaking stranger?
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 05:38
I wouldn't worry about it - ultimately, if they have a problem with something on an international basis they will contact you for help (I would expect).

By the point they are doing this, the tables have turned somewhat. The school wants you to study there. They have no interest in it all going sour.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 05:52
Running extensive background checks are prohibitively expensive. Imagine how much time and money it would take to verify every piece of data included in every applicant's file. As rhyme mentioned, they will probably run a perfunctory check at best. Rather surprised to hear that they are charging extra for it these days.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2007, 07:25
I noticed that Chicago GSB didn't have a question that asked for your criminal history.

If an applicant turned out to have an extensive criminal history, they could just rescind the offer. It would make more sense just to ask the question.

Wonder why?

Do they expect applicants to freely give up the information if they don't explicitly ask for it?
  [#permalink] 12 Jan 2007, 07:25
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