Fuqua School of Business conducts a background verification to every admitted student, to evaluate the accuracy of all the information included in the application. This practice is common in several business schools. Duke employs a third party to conduct this process, and is up to the admitted student to contact this company to begin the background verification process.
This step is really important, and admitted students might be blocked and loose their admission offer if during the background verification process its found any omission or falsification of information, or if the admitted students fail to complete the required verification process.
Once you are admitted to Fuqua, you get a FAQ sheet with the most important information about this process. The student must pay an extra fee, for Duke is $75, directly to the third party conducting the verification process. It’s the admitted student’s responsibility to inform recommenders and previous and actual employers that they might be contacted and asked about topics such as your period of employment in the company and salaries.
Once Fuqua receives the tuition deposit, admitted students receive and e-mail with instructions to begin this process. You must sign and send by e-mail an authorization to the company conducting the verification process and pay the fee. You will be contacted in case this company finds any inconsistencies in the application.
Neither the school nor the company conducting the background verification process will inform you on the status of your pending verification while in progress.
The process is supposed to be really smooth for the admitted student. However, things get trickier if you have been self-employed in some point of your career. It’s then when the admitted student has more work to do. You must forward corporate documents including (but not limited) to articles of incorporation noting state or place of incorporation. These documents, in case they come from foreign countries, do not need to be translated.
Overall, the process might take between 2 and 4 weeks to be completed. However, it might take even more, especially if admitted students put a hold in a component of their application. For instance, in case you have not informed your current employer about your intentions of studying an MBA, you can ask the company conducting the verification process to wait until a desired date to contact your current employer.
I have not informed my current employer about my intentions of studying an MBA next year, so I have put a hold in this part of my application and stated the date when they should contact my current employer. I got a confirmation e-mail during the following day confirming the hold in my application, and specifying the date on when they will continue the verification process of this part of my application.
I plan to inform my current employer in February about my decision of leaving the company and going back to school. I guess that my background verification process might not be ready until March. I don’t expect to have any problem during this process, as I was honest and sincere in all the components of my application.