On January 25, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., advised U.S. News that it had misreported data to U.S. News on its freshman classes entering Bucknell from fall 2006 through 2011—specifically, that some students were excluded from the school's originally reported SAT and ACT scores.
The school also misreported the same test score data to other data collectors, including the U.S. Department of Education, the College Board, Peterson's, and The Princeton Review.
Bucknell has provided U.S. News with new data it is reporting as correct. As a result, Bucknell's new average SAT math score for the fall 2011 entering class is now 665 versus the 672 as originally reported to U.S. News, a 7-point difference. The school's average SAT critical reading score for that period is now 626 versus the 635 as originally reported to U.S. News, a 9-point difference. The average ACT composite score for that period remained unchanged at 29.
The incorrect data were used by U.S. News to compute Bucknell University's ranking in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category in our 2013 Best Colleges, published last September. In the rankings methodology, we factor in the admissions test scores of all enrollees who took the SAT (math and critical reading) and ACT, which have a total weight of 7.5 percent in our model.
However, the difference between Bucknell's misreported data and newly reported data wasn't significant enough to affect the school's numerical rank. Therefore, based on our calculations, Bucknell's published numerical rank is correct and will not change.
U.S. News has replaced the misreported Bucknell data at usnews.com and in the U.S. News College Compass tool with the new data reported as correct by the school for the fall 2011 entering class, where such data was provided by the school.
U.S. News will continue to handle each instance of data misreporting on a case-by-case basis.