We all know how important it is to validate education and experience claimed by candidates. I've seen numbers as high as 50% for the frequency of, shall we say, embellishments, on resumes and applications.
Reference and backgrounds checks are the typical route for this check on applicant honesty, but they're time consuming and it can be challenging to get high quality information. Here's an idea to consider: how about using the interview as part of the background check process?
Have you considered asking questions like:
"I see you went to Texas A&M. Tell us a little about the types of courses you took and projects you worked on."
Job-related, specific, and forces the candidate to do a little more digging.
Or if you wanted to be more blatant:
"I see you went to UCLA. Tell us a little about the campus--where were the majority of your classes? What did you enjoy about the school?"
Not so job-related, perhaps, but certainly defensible as a check on their truthfulness.
Yes, deceivers could still prepare pat answers for these types of questions, but my guess is many won't and you'll save yourself a lot of time and headaches.