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‘U.S. News’ Pulls George Washington U.’s Ranking After It Admits Inflating Data

U.S. News & World Report has revoked George Washington University’s numerical ranking after the institution admitted last week that it had been inflating class-rank data for incoming students for more than a decade. In a blog post on Wednesday, Robert J. Morse, the magazine’s director of data research, said George Washington had been moved to the “unranked” category of the listings. The university had been ranked 51st on U.S. News’s list of “Best Colleges.” The unranked designation means that U.S. News “did not calculate a numerical ranking” for the university, Mr. Morse wrote.

The new status will remain in effect until next fall, when the 2014 edition of the U.S. News college guide is published, “and until George Washington confirms the accuracy of the school’s next data submission in accordance with U.S. News’s requirements,” Mr. Morse wrote. Although other institutions, including Claremont McKenna College and Emory University, have reported similar errors recently, U.S. News has not changed the ranking of any other institution on its “Best Colleges” list.

In a written statement, Steven Knapp, George Washington’s president, said that it was “committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and accuracy,” and that the university had reported its errors “without regard to any possible action that U.S. News might take as a result.” Still, he said, campus officials were “surprised” by the decision. He said the university had put “safeguards in place to prevent such errors from occurring in the future.”

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