Background checks vary widely from program to program. Some programs require applicant background checks prior to acceptance, while others require these checks as a condition of matriculation. For questions about background checks — including when in the application process this must be completed — contact each of your programs directly.
Background checks reflect all prior convictions, guilty pleas, city ordinance citations (such as public intoxication), illegal possession(s) including possession of alcohol under the legal age, payments of fines (including those for traffic violations), and in some cases, prior records thought to have been expunged. Note that in some states, common traffic violations can be considered misdemeanors.
Programs that Require Background Checks
Programs that require a background check will often initiate this process after you have submitted your application; they use a vendor such as Castle Branch (note: you should contact your programs directly for specific details). Each program that uses Castle Branch will send you an email with instructions on how to complete your background check.
If you are using Castle Branch and need assistance, it may be helpful to contact their customer service.