Bucknell University holds onto rank after false data reports

Bucknell University was the fifth college in a year to admit that it had misreported admissions data. It was not pulled off the U.S. News & World Report rankings.  Photo used under the Creative Commons license.

About two weeks after Bucknell University admitted to skewing test score data, U.S. News & World Report announced that the school would maintain its No. 32 spot on its top liberal arts colleges list.

Bucknell inflated average SAT and ACT scores by omitting several dozen students’ scores, which boosted the overall SAT mean as much as 25 points on the 1600-point scale over seven years.

The publication recalculated Bucknell’s ranking using corrected data and found that the difference “wasn’t significant enough to affect the school’s numerical rank,” Director of Data Research Robert Morse wrote in a blog post Monday.

Bucknell President John Bravman said last month, after disclosing the misreported data, that he believed the college would maintain its ranking. Admissions test scores account for 7.5 percent of the publication’s rankings methodology.

GW was kicked off the best colleges rankings in November after the University announced that it had misreported freshmen class rank data for over a decade.  Tulane University’s business school was also booted from a U.S. News & World ranking in January, while Emory University and Claremont McKenna College maintained their ranks after admitting to data inflation earlier in 2012.

The string of colleges to admit misreporting has renewed scrutiny over college rankings and how those figures are reported, many experts say.

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