Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Two More Schools Join Rankings Hall of Shame

US News LogoRobert Morse (Director of Data Research for U.S. News & World Report), Updates to 2 Schools' 2013 Best Colleges Ranks:

Two schools – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and York College of Pennsylvania – recently advised U.S. News that they submitted inflated data that were used in the 2013 Best Colleges rankings, resulting in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise might have been. In both cases, the same incorrect data were also reported to many other parties including the U.S. Department of Education.

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a Texas school in the Regional Universities (West) rankings category, advised U.S. News that it reported an acceptance rate (which accounts for 1.5% of the overall ranking) of 27.4%, rather than the actual 89.1% rate.

York College, a Pennsylvania school in the Regional Universities (North) rankings category, advised U.S. News that it reported average SAT scores (which account for 7.5% of the overall ranking) of 545 (math) and 532 (critical reading), rather than the actual 527 (math) and 516 (critical reading) SAT scores. York College admitted that it has been misreporting SAT scores for more than a decade.

Other members of the Rankings Hall of Shame:  Bucknell, Claremont McKenna, Emory, George Washington, Illinois, Tulane, and Villanova.

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Neither of these schools are law schools. And York College at least seems to be the result of a change in the reporting rules for high school students...not that they've been deliberately "misreporting" them for decades.

(And no I'm not affiliated, just from the region.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 17, 2013 2:17:38 PM

"shame on you if your were taken in by GW"

What are you, a judge?

(cough, cough, vomit).

The thoroughgoing rottenness of our institutions has me thinking we all should just cut to the chase and hand the keys to the Chinese.

Posted by: cas127 | May 16, 2013 5:06:51 PM

I'm surprised to hear how prevalent misreporting of SAT scores is.

Posted by: Tate Law Offices | May 16, 2013 10:24:46 AM

David - shame on you if your were taken in by GW. It's been a mediocre party school for the rich for as long as I can remember, which is back into the '50s. A safety for well-to-do, but neither accomplished nor bright students from the better Northeastern public high schools and second rate prep schools when their other safeties said no.

Posted by: CatoRenasci | May 16, 2013 6:41:44 AM

The folks who really should be "offended" are those of us who sat through GW's self-congratulatory "information" sessions with our HS senior children where we were constantly told about GW's wonderful rankings to justify GW's exorbitant price tag.

When even the Chronicle of Higher Education, well-known scandal rag that it may be, says of your Admission Office:

"An auditing firm hired by the university has determined that the misreporting was not done “with malice,” according to officials. “I don’t think they realized the extent to which it was distorting the numbers,” Mr. Maltzman said.

Nevertheless, replacing hard-and-fast numbers with mere estimates involves a conscious choice, and, it’s fair to assume, an intent to polish the truth."

then I would suggest that perhaps the faculty at GW would be better served to direct their ire at those in their Administration who "fudged" (which is a nice way to say "lied") about the numbers rather than those who call it what it is: shameful.

Posted by: Sean Starke | May 16, 2013 5:58:24 AM

I am offended by the characterization of the list of these schools as a "hall of shame." In GW's case, I know that the university discovered an error in its reporting to US News and then voluntarily let the magazine know. Other schools on Paul's list (the very name is insulting) took similar action. This is shameful? These schools should be lauded for being honest and forthright.

Posted by: David Brunori | May 15, 2013 6:06:43 PM