Two schools – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and York College of Pennsylvania – recently advised U.S. News that they submitted inflated data that were used in the 2013 Best Colleges rankings, resulting in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise might have been. In both cases, the same incorrect data were also reported to many other parties including the U.S. Department of Education.
Because of the discrepancies in the rankings, U.S. News has moved these two schools to the "Unranked" category in the Best Colleges section of usnews.com. Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate numerical rankings for these schools.
This Unranked status will last until the publication of the next Best Colleges rankings and until each school confirms the accuracy of its next data submission in accordance with U.S. News's requirements.
We have noted this Unranked status on each school's profile page, and have included the new data reported as correct by the school on usnews.com and in the U.S. News College Compass tool.
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a Texas school in the Regional Universities (West) rankings category, advised U.S. News that it submitted incorrect counts for the number of applications and number of students admitted for the school's fall 2011 entering class. These data are used to compute the school's acceptance rate.
The school told U.S. News that its correct number of fall 2011 applications and students admitted result in an acceptance rate of 89.1 percent, compared with the incorrect rate of 27.4 percent that was originally reported to U.S. News, a 61.7 percentage point difference. A school's acceptance rate is used in the overall Best Colleges rankings methodology and has a weight of 1.5 percent of the overall ranking.
York College of Pennsylvania, a school in the Regional Universities (North) rankings category, advised U.S. News that it excluded 20 percent of the school's fall 2011 entering class SAT scores when it calculated and reported their averages.
School officials have now reported that the correct SAT math score is 527 and SAT critical reading score is 516, compared with the incorrect SAT math score of 545 and SAT critical reading score of 532 that were originally reported to U.S. News, a combined 34-point difference.
York College also told U.S. News that this misreporting had occurred for more than a decade. Average SAT math and critical reading scores are used in the Best Colleges rankings methodology and have a weight of 7.5 percent of the overall ranking.
U.S. News will continue to handle each case of data misreporting on an individual basis.