Do companies check to see of a new employee really has a HS diploma?

My roomate, a high school dropout, is looking for a job. He asked me if our company (or any other) actually checks to see if someone has a diploma. Our company does not. We do make potential employees take a variety of skills tests to check math and problem solving skills but that is about all. I got to wondering though, does anyone really check this stuff?

He has 3 years of college credits and figures if he shows that on his resume, along with 8 years of work experience, most will assume that he has a HS diploma.

So anyone in HR out there?

Possibly an incredibly naive question on my part, but how does one get into college without a HS diploma, let alone get a job?

Well, in California and maybe other places too, you don’t need a HS diploma to get into a community college. You do if you want a degree but not if you just want to take classes.

As far as the job, I’ve seen more than a few that don’t require either a diploma or a GED.

“3 years” of college doesn’t really mean much more than during 3 different calendar years, a college class was taken ya know.

In answer, some do, some don’t, guarentee that if you call up and ask, they’ll start. Also guarentee that a major lie on an application is generally considered grounds for dismissal.

My recommondation for your friend - if they’re bright, go take a GED test and get that certification . IT doesn’t take that much time and effort and often is free if you don’t have a diploma. Generally, they do a quick assessment to see what level some one is at, then coursework to bring the person up to pass the test. As soon as you’re ready, you can take the actual test.

Thanks for the clarification.

At my past two part time jobs (telemarketing and food store) they would glance at your résumé and accept you. My WAG is that the more renouned the company is the harder they’ll make sure to make sure their employees are tip top.

Few employers are going to call your high school and ask abou it. However, he should not say he has a high school degree if he doesn’t have one. If the employer finds out he lied like that on the resume, he could become unemployed very quickly.

Better to just leave off the information. Best to get the GED.

Some federal agencies in the U.S. check high school records. Maybe if someone works for a private company that contracts w/the feds, certain employees may need background checks, so the high school record might be an issue.

At my school (a state university) you just need a GED and a few thousand dollars. And I believe the GED requirement can be waived if certain “special criteria” can be met.

Anyway, I got into college without a diploma. And before I had college and stuff to compensate for my high school “uneducation,” whenever I filled out an application or went to an interview, I always lied and/or emphasized my work experience.

When I started going to community college this year they did not even ask if I had a high school diploma, I just had to take a test.

I’m assuming you’re in the U.S. and asking about the situation here.

Companies that do not check references are asking for trouble, and it will come sooner or later.

The laws can be very complex, and they may or may not be able to fire him if they discover he lied on his job application. It depends very much on the situation (for example, whether he is a member of a protected minority, a union member, disabled, etc.).

In short, any company stupid enough not to check references deserves everything they may get.

OTOH, if your friend has no particular “protections” such as mentioned above, he may well be kicked out on his proverbial when they discover that he lied.

Actually, it does mean 3 year’s worth of college work. As an example: I began my college career in 1979 and have had a few interruptions. At the moment, California’s community college system, the UC system, and the CSU system all consider me as being in my 2nd year of college (which I shall complete and graduate with an AA this June, btw).

It’s sort of like time in a chess game. The time elapsed on the wall clock may be two hours; however, the game itself may only have had 5 moves.

You know, I find this interesting because the private high school I graduated from has closed. The building was demolished, and as far as I know, the records are in someone’s storage shed somewhere two towns away from where the school once was.

Now, granted, it’s been 25 years and I have completed college, but I wonder about classmates of mine. How many years can go by before someone’s high school record is no longer at issue? Is it really important that someone graduated from high school when they’re 30? 40?

When I went to work for my last employer, they checked every college I’d attended (I had to provide transcripts), AND my HS records. In Texas, there’s apparently some kind of a database that’s used to verify graduation status, but I didn’t graduate in Texas. (I have a GED; I attended four years of high school but lacked enough credits to actually graduate.) So I had to provide a copy of my GED transcript from the State of California as well.

That was the only job I’ve had where I’ve had to show that much proof of my academic records. The rest have never bothered to check that much into it.


I’m the keeper of the GED records in the Western Wisconsin District. I get a couple of requests every day to verify someone’s GED for employers, educational institutions, social services or what have you. They check. I wouldn’t risk that they wouldn’t.

um. no.

on your resume or application, you of course are free to put down that you went to Wassamatta U from 1998 - 2001. I, as an employer, am not about to assume that means that you’ve done anything more than be a registered student from those years. And, Wassamatta U, when they’re figuring out your class standing (freshman, sophomore etc.) aren’t going to go my the number of years you’ve attended, but by the number of credits you’ve attained.