There was also a link between subject and the level of creative writing
Students from lower ranking universities are more likely to lie on their CVs than those from top ranking ones, research suggests.
Analysis of 3,876 financial service job applications found embellishments on the forms of 43% of applicants from the UK's lowest ranking universities.
Only 14% of applicants from the top 20 UK universities were found to have fibbed in their applications.
The survey was commissioned by a pre-employment screening firm, Powerchex.
Its managing director Alexandra Kelly said: "What this survey says is that graduates from lesser-known universities may feel the need to alter their background to compete."
Discrepancy rate by university ranking
Top 20 - 14%
Ranked 21-50 - 15%
Ranked 51-100 - 26%
Ranked 100+ - 43%
There is no definitive ranking of universities. For the survey the researchers at the Shell technology and enterprise programme used the Times Online 2009 ranking.
Chief executive of Ashridge Business School Kai Peters said the survey suggested those with the discipline to get into good universities were proud of their performance and saw no need to embellish their CVs.
However, the researchers analysed far more applications - 1,367 - from students from higher ranking universities than from students from the lowest ranking universities, of which only 140 were seen.
More women lied
The analysis also suggested a link between the subject studied and the likelihood of embellishments.
The highest discrepancy rate was found among those studying humanities and the arts at 22%, while least likely to lie were maths students at 7%.
The most common types of discrepancies were dates of employment, academic and professional qualifications and undisclosed directorships.
The survey also suggested that women were 25% more likely to lie than men.
Applicants who did not have a university degree were about 20% more likely to have a discrepancy on their CV than graduates, the research said.