On January 15, Tulane University in New Orleans advised U.S. News that its Freeman School of Business had misreported data to U.S. News over a five-year period—specifically, the school's GMAT scores and the number of applications for the full-time MBA program for the classes that entered from fall 2007 through 2011.
Tulane had these data recalculated by Alvarez & Marsal, an independent auditor hired as part of an investigation by Jones Day, a law firm hired by the school to conduct an independent investigation of the school's data reporting practices.
As a result, the Freeman School's corrected average GMAT score for the fall 2011 entering class is now 631 versus the 670 as originally reported to U.S. News, a 39-point difference. Since the school revised the number of applications, this meant that the acceptance rate for the fall 2011 entering class has also been corrected to be 93 percent versus the 57 percent as originally reported to U.S. News, a 36 percentage-point difference.
The incorrect data were used by U.S. News to compute the Freeman School's ranking in our 2013 Best Business Schools, published last March, thereby making its numerical rank higher than it otherwise would have been if the correct values had been used. In the U.S. News full-time MBA rankings methodology, the average GMAT score has a weight of 16.25 percent, and the acceptance rate is weighted 1.25 percent.
Because of the discrepancy in the numerical rankings, U.S. News has changed the ranking for Tulane University's Freeman School of Business from being a ranked school to an "Unranked" school in the Best Business Schools section of usnews.com. Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for this school.
This Unranked status will last until this spring's publication of the 2014 edition of the Best Graduate Schools rankings, and until the Freeman School confirms the accuracy of its next data submission.
We have noted this Unranked status on the school's profile page and have replaced the misreported data there and in our U.S. News Graduate School Compass tool with the new data reported as accurate by Tulane, where such data were provided by the school.
U.S. News will continue to handle each instance of data misreporting on a case-by-case basis. U.S. News has not changed the ranking of any other school in the current Best Business Schools rankings.