Atlanta’s Emory University joined the growing list of colleges and universities admitting to misreporting student data used for rankings purposes. Claremont McKenna College in California, and Iona College in New York, previously admitted reporting incorrect statistics.
As the debate about college rankings continues, much is written about ranking methodology flaws and the potential for manipulation and misrepresentation along with questions about how the data is collected, verified, reviewed, and published.
The Associated Press reported that Emory’s admissions and institutional research offices overstated SAT and ACT scores for more than a decade by reporting admitted student data, rather than enrolled students, as requested. In addition, for some period of time, Emory “may have” excluded the scores of the bottom 10 percent of students when reporting SAT/ACT scores, GPA’s and other similar information.
Data supplied by Emory and other colleges and universities is utilized by numerous websites and publications including US News & World Report, publisher of the Best Colleges Guide, which hits the newsstands each September. Emory was ranked 20th in the September 2011 edition of the magazine’s list of “America’s Best Colleges.”
In 2009, Emory reported that SAT scores for the 25th to 75th percentile of enrolled students was 1300-1480 (Math and Critical Reading), when in fact it was 1260-1440. The following year, Emory reported the middle percentile of enrolled students was 1310-1500, when it was actually 1270-1460.
For 2009, Emory also reported that 85 percent of enrolled students were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, when the correct number was 76 percent. In 2010, Emory the true top 10% number dropped to 75 percent, and was reported to be 87 percent.
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