U.S. News & World Report, Updates to 5 Schools' 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data:
Five Schools Notified U.S. News that they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The schools are the University of California-Berkeley, Scripps College, Mars Hill University, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and Johnson & Wales University.
What Does This Mean?
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 five schools' Unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings 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 2019 Best Colleges will remain the same on usnews.com.
University of California—Berkeley: The school originally reported that its two-year average alumni giving rate for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 was 11.6%. UC-Berkeley informed U.S. News that its correct average alumni giving rate for just fiscal year 2016 was 7.9%. The school also told U.S. News that it incorrectly included pledges in the alumni giving data provided to U.S. News since at least 2014. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5% in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.
Scripps College: The school originally reported that its two-year average alumni giving rate for fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2016 was 27.3%. Scripps informed U.S. News its correct average alumni giving rate for those two years was around 19.9%. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5% in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.
Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island recently told U.S. News that for many years the school had been over-reporting its financial resource expenditures budget for its Providence campus. The school had been reporting financial expenditures data for all Johnson & Wales campuses to U.S. News instead of just for the Providence campus. The school told U.S. News that for every $100 of financial resources expenditures it had reported, it should have been around $62. Financial resources expenditures per student accounts for 10% of the Best Colleges ranking.
In light of these misreporting issues, U.S. News has requested University of California—Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, University of California system President Janet Napolitano and Johnson & Wales University Chancellor Mim L. Runey and Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus President Marie Bernardo-Sousa to provide a letter certifying the accuracy of their respective schools' data in their data submissions to U.S. News for the next three editions of the Best Colleges rankings. These letters are below.