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‘U.S. News’ Removes 2 More Colleges From Its Rankings

U.S. News & World Report has moved York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to its “unranked” category after learning that they had submitted inflated admissions data, according to a blog post on Tuesday by Robert J. Morse, the magazine’s director of data research.

A number of cases of misreported admissions data have surfaced in recent months, including Dominican University of California’s announcement that it had included incomplete applications, making it appear more selective, in data it sent to the U.S. Department of Education.

Officials at York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Texas, each advised U.S. News that they had reported inflated data. In both cases, the inaccuracies resulted in the colleges’ receiving higher rankings than they otherwise would have.

As it has in other cases when revised data would have resulted in different rankings, U.S. News moved the colleges to its unranked list. Two other recent additions to that list are George Washington University and Tulane University’s business school.

The magazine has not removed the numerical ranking of colleges whose misreported data did not change where they landed on the list, as in the cases of Bucknell University, Claremont McKenna College, and Emory University.

U.S. News,” the blog post says, “will continue to handle each case of data misreporting on an individual basis.”

York College of Pennsylvania told the rankings publication it had excluded 20 percent of the 2011 entering class’s SAT scores when calculating its average. The college initially reported an average SAT score of 545 in math and 532 in critical reading. The corrected scores are 527 in math and 516 in critical reading. The misreporting had been going on for more than a decade, the college told U.S. News.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor told the magazine it had submitted incorrect numbers of applications and admitted students for the fall of 2011. The misreported data showed an acceptance rate of 27.4 percent; the correct figure was 89.1 percent.

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