U.S. News has stripped George Washington of its college ranking. GW joins a growing number of colleges who have been accused of inflating their data to improve their college ranking. Here is the official statement from Bob Morse of U.S. News:
On November 8, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., advised U.S. News that it had erroneously reported its high school class standing information for more than a decade. This misreporting resulted in George Washington submitting to U.S. News a value for the percent of the fall 2011 entering class in the top tenth of their high school class that was inflated by 20 percentage points.
This incorrect data was used in the calculation of GW’s overall rank in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges rankings, published in September, thereby making its rank in the National Universities category higher than it otherwise would have been. The proportion of enrolled freshmen at National Universities who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school classes counted for 6 percent of the Best Colleges rankings methodology.
Because of the discrepancy in the rankings, U.S. News has changed George Washington University from being a ranked school to an “Unranked” school in the Best Colleges section of usnews.com. Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for this school.
This Unranked status will last until next fall’s publication of the 2014 edition of the Best Colleges rankings, and until George Washington confirms the accuracy of the school’s next data submission in accordance with U.S. News‘s requirements.
We have noted this Unranked status on the school’s profile page and have replaced the misreported data there and in our U.S. News College Compass tool with the new data reported as accurate by George Washington, where such data were provided by the school.
U.S. News will continue to handle each instance of data misreporting on a case-by-case basis. U.S. News has not changed the ranking of any other school in the current Best Colleges rankings.
This list shows how George Washington University’s corrected data compare to what George Washington falsely first reported for the 2013 Best Colleges rankings:
FALL 2011 ENTERING CLASS
Freshmen ranked in top 10% of high school class
Actual after correction: 58%
As first reported: 78%
Freshmen ranked in top 25% of high school class
Actual after correction: 90%
As first reported: 95%
Freshmen ranked in top half of high school class
Actual after correction: 99%
As first reported: 100%
Freshmen ranked in bottom half of high school class
Actual after correction: 1%
As first reported: 0%
Percent of students who submitted high school class rank
Actual after correction: 38%
As first reported: 51%