If you sign a release then the hiring company can run a background check on you. Checking your educational credentials might be part of the background check. The company doing the actual background check would ask for verification of your degrees etc. from whatever schools you listed. In the old days all this would have been too cumbersome so most employers didn't bother with it. Now, with computers it's much easier so more places elect to verify your background - especially if the job requires a specific degree.