FAQs on recent data misreporting by colleges

In recent months, four colleges admitted to misreporting data to U.S. News for our college rankings. Most recently, Tulane University’s MBA program said that it had misreported data that were used for our business school rankings. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these instances of misreporting.

Why are we seeing this now? The disclosure of the misreporting was by three colleges and a business school. Although these are isolated cases, each reflects an acknowledgement by schools that reporting accurate data to a variety of sources is essential to the schools’ integrity. Data have become more important, not less, to parents, students, alumni, academic researchers, boards of directors, the federal government and, ultimately, the schools’ reputation. In some cases the misreported data were also given to the U.S. Department of Education and other groups like bond rating agencies…

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