Claremont McKenna Misrepresents Test Score Data

The highly ranked liberal arts school falsely inflated its SAT scores for several years.


Claremont McKenna College announced yesterday that it had falsely inflated its SAT scores of incoming freshmen that it annually reported to U.S. News from 2005 through 2011. These scores are used in the annual Best Colleges rankings and have a weight of 7.5 percent. The school also misreported the same SAT data to the U.S. Department of Education; its regional accrediting body, Western Association of Schools and Colleges; and many other publishers, such as College Board and Peterson’s.

Claremont McKenna College has promised U.S. News it will in the near future supply us with the average SAT scores for Critical Reading and Math that were used in the rankings so we can accurately answer the question what, if any, the impact of this misreporting had on Claremont McKenna College’s latest ranking. In the 2012 edition of the Best Colleges rankings, Claremont McKenna is ranked ninth among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

After U.S. News receives the new data, we will estimate its actual impact on Claremont McKenna College’s rankings and publish that information in this blog. U.S. News will maintain its long-standing policy of not revising previously published rankings.

Some of the notable coverage on this:

New York Times: “College Says It Exaggerated SAT Figures for Ratings”

Bloomberg: “Claremont McKenna Says Official Inflated SAT Scores”

Chronicle of Higher Education: “Claremont McKenna Official Resigns After Falsely Reporting SAT Scores”

Inside Higher Ed: “Claremont McKenna Inflated SAT Scores for Rankings”