How COVID-19 is Impacting MBA Background Verification

Each admissions cycle, MBA applicants can expect to undergo a background verification screening, usually conducted by a third-party agency, upon accepting a business school’s offer of admission. However, during the global pandemic, admissions offices and verification industries have faced some unforeseen challenges, primarily related to:

Volume:Uncertainty about class “yield” and “melt” prompted many top schools to extend R3 application deadlines. And, as recession claimed countless jobs, business schools experienced a spike in applications this spring.

Privacy:Academic and administrative staff working from home on personal laptops in home offices has raised privacy concerns regarding how to securely manage applicants’ sensitive personal information.

Pre-COVID-19, many schools had outsourced the entire verification process to third-party agencies to review would-be matriculants’ professional histories. Only if a significant discrepancy was found would the verification agency would send a file back to admissions committees for final review. Now, however, with privacy concerns affecting the management of sensitive data, and sheer volume complicating the process, verification agencies pass matriculant files back to admissions committees far sooner and much more often than they had in the past. What does this mean for applicants with non-traditional work history, entrepreneurial backgrounds, and qualifications from countries or companies with different HR standards? It means they are more likely than before to be subjected to rigorous screening by a more sophisticated audience – the admissions committee itself – even after completing an initial verification protocol with a third-party agency.

In short, it is more important than ever for applicants with non-traditional work histories to be ready to share personal information, formal documentation, and other supporting files to substantiate claims from their applications. Contact us to find out if your candidacy may be at risk during background verification and how we can help you navigate this critical process. If you’re an MBA admit anticipating background verification, we invite you to read our blog “Fact: MBA admissions does not guarantee matriculation.” In addition, click here for more information about our background verification support services (CounterCheck™), guiding and supporting applicants facing the business school background verification process.