On GWU, (un)rankings and class rank

The tale of George Washington University and the loss of its U.S. News ranking is, on one level, simple, says the Washington Post. The university systematically overstated the credentials of its incoming freshmen for several years. It disclosed that problem last week. U.S. News, as a result, removed GWU Wednesday from its list of top national universities. GWU had been in a three-way tie for 51st with Boston and Tulane universities. Now it is unranked. But there are complexities. Take a close look at the statistic GWU misreported: the percentage of incoming freshmen who were in the top 10 percent of their class in high school. Instead of 78 percent, as the university originally said, the share was 58 percent. Yet even that 58 percent comes with a caveat. The percentage, it turns out, is based only on the 38 percent of students for whom class rank information was available…

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