U.S. News & World Report, Updates to 8 Schools' 2018 Best Colleges Rankings Data:
Eight schools notified U.S. News & World Report that they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2018 edition of Best Colleges. The schools are Austin Peay State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Drury University, Hampton University, Oklahoma City University, Randolph College, Saint Martin's University and St. Louis University.
The misreporting by each school resulted in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise would have been. Because of the discrepancies, U.S. News has moved the schools to the "Unranked" category, meaning they do not receive numerical ranks.
All eight schools' Unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings [Sept. 10] and until the schools confirm the accuracy of their next data submission in accordance with U.S. News' requirements. All other schools' rankings in the 2018 Best Colleges will remain the same on usnews.com.
Inside Higher Ed, 8 More Colleges Submitted Incorrect Data for Rankings:
The eight new colleges are blaming human error, not malice, for the flaws in their data. And the colleges themselves told U.S. News about the errors.
A summary by U.S. News of rankings problems is as follows:
- Austin Peay State University incorrectly reported its six-year graduation rate as 40 percent when it was 37 percent.
- Dakota Wesleyan University incorrectly reported its average need-based grant to undergraduates. The university reported the average was $16,406, but the correct figure is $13,579.
- Drury University understated its enrollment as 1,611, when it was actually 3,571. The error made it appear that spending per student was much higher than it was.
- Hampton University originally reported a six-year graduation rate of 66 percent when it is 56 percent.
- Oklahoma City University originally reported a six-year graduation rate of 62 percent when it is 59 percent.
- Randolph College reported that its average faculty salary was $104,200 when it was $88,647.
- Saint Louis University reported a six-year graduation rate of 77 percent when it was really 74 percent.
- Saint Martin's University reported its six-year graduation rate as 55 percent when it was actually 52 percent. ...
This year's errors are being reported more than 11 months into the year in which the rankings have been out, and the "unranking" of these colleges will end with the release of the new rankings Sept. 10. Asked if losing a ranking for a few weeks was a sufficient sanction, Morse said that reporting by Inside Higher Ed and others drew attention to errors and would "result in schools facing greater scrutiny about their academic offerings from the media, and more importantly, the public."