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UC Berkeley Removed from US News College Rankings After Misreporting Statistics

UC Berkeley Removed from US News College Rankings After Misreporting Statistics

“This is terrible timing for the school’s reputation”

Well that’s embarrassing. What were they hoping to achieve with this?

Forbes reports:

UC Berkeley Removed From US News College Rankings For Misreporting Statistics

Yesterday, US News & World Report released a statement titled “Updates to 5 Schools’ 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data.” In the statement, they announced that five schools had been removed from the 2019 edition of the US News Best Colleges rankings, most notably UC Berkeley.

According to US News, during the data collection period for the upcoming 2020 rankings, UC Berkeley notified US News that they had been misreporting data since at least 2014 by including pledges in their alumni giving a percentage (instead of only actual, tax-deductible donations). In response, US News removed them from their Best Colleges rankings, listing them as “Unranked” in their profile. The overall rankings are unchanged, meaning the #2 spot of “Top Public Schools” is currently empty.

This is terrible timing for the school’s reputation, even though, as alumni giving only accounts for 5% of the ranking, it’s unclear how much this misreporting would have altered UC Berkeley’s historical rankings. The school had long been the highest-ranked public university on the list, with UCLA in a close second, but when the 2019 rankings were announced, UCLA came in first for the first time (though Berkeley was quick to point out that it had “maintained its numerical score from last year”).

Now, not only is Berkeley unlikely to raise its score enough to top the 2020 rankings, but its prior rankings may be called into question (despite alumni giving rates being a relatively minor part of the equation).


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I’m trying to figure out what “alumni giving” has to do with the quality of the school. It might be a proxy for customer satisfaction but I don’t think it’s a very good one. It’s more like “Rich Customer Satisfaction” which may not correlate at all with overall satisfaction.

Well, who knew US News was still in business?

    healthguyfsu in reply to irv. | July 28, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Money is considered a tool for greater advancement in higher education…hence, the urge to spend and press for more and more and more money. What could possibly go wrong?

    And yes, US News is still in business, primarily by monetizing these rankings for prospective college students.