Robert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), Why New York University Fell in the Best Business Schools Rankings:
When U.S. News calculates our annual rankings of the Best Graduate Schools, we get all the statistical data we use from the schools themselves. This means U.S. News depends on those schools to provide accurate and complete data in response to our statistical surveys.
When a school does not provide data that are used in the rankings methodologies, that can have a significant effect on its position in the rankings.
During the statistical data collection process for the newly released 2017 edition of Best Business Schools, New York University's Stern School of Business did not submit its data for the number of new entrants to both its full-time and part-time MBA programs who provided GMAT scores. These data were for the fall 2015 entering class. ...
The data are used as part of the calculation to compute a value for a school's average GMAT and GRE scores. This measure is included in the rankings to determine the strength of a school's entering class relative to other full-time and part-time MBA programs. The average GMAT and GRE scores have a weight of 16.25 percent in the full-time MBA rankings and 15 percent in the part-time MBA rankings.
The Stern School of Business' position in both the full-time and part-time MBA rankings for the 2017 edition were negatively affected as a result of the data omission. The school is ranked at No. 20 in the full-time rankings and No. 10 in the part-time rankings. In the 2016 edition of the rankings, the school tied for No. 11 among full-time programs and ranked fourth among part-time programs.
Stern later provided U.S. News with the omitted data points, which are noted on its profile page on usnews.com. These data points are only visible to U.S. News Grad School Compass users, as is the case for all business schools.
U.S. News will not recalculate NYU’s rankings – or any other school’s rankings – because of nonreporting.
NYU Press Release, Why Stern’s Ranking Fell to 20, and Why You Shouldn’t Take it at Face Value:
US News and World Report published its rankings of full-time MBA programs today, and Stern dropped from 11 last year to 20 this year, we know why, and here’s why you shouldn’t accept it at face value.
US News shared the rankings with us last week. We were surprised, looked at the data, and found that Stern’s scores were higher than a number of other schools with higher ranks (see here for example.) So we challenged their ranking of Stern.
US News told us that Stern's drop was largely attributable to a single missing data point – one missing answer (concerning how many students submitted GMAT scores) out of over 300 questions. In its absence, US News had substituted an “estimated” number (we do not know how this estimate was derived.)
We promptly provided the correct information, but US News declined to adjust the rankings.
The failure to submit the data is ours; that said, it was wholly unintentional, it’s a question we’ve always answered in the past, US News never flagged the missing information, and the missing data was virtually identical to last year’s. Going forward, we will further tighten the procedures for data submissions so such lapses do not recur.