2 Colleges Admit Incorrect Data Given to 'U.S. News'

October 9, 2014

U.S. News and World Report announced Wednesday that some data that two colleges had submitted for the most recent rankings was incorrect. For one of the institutions, Lindenwood University, the correct data would have resulted in a different rating, so the magazine moved the institution to its "unranked" category. In Lindenwood's case, it added the numeral 1 in front of the correct number of alumni donors used in the magazine's calculation of the alumni giving rate. When the correct figure of 2,411 was used, instead of 12,411, the giving rate dropped from 37.5 percent to 11.9 percent. The correction for the other institution -- Rollins College -- did not change its ranking. Rollins had reported admitting 2,233 students, when it really admitted 2,783. That change increased the acceptance rate from 47.2 percent to 58.8 percent.

In recent years, several colleges have admitted to sending U.S. News incorrect data intentionally. But via email, Robert Morse, who leads the rankings effort at U.S. News, said that these were "honest mistakes" caused by "one-off, one-time sloppy reporting."

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