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US News Strips Five Schools of Ranking for Misreporting Data

U.S. News & World Report has stripped five higher education institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, of its past ranking for providing false data.

According to an update on the U.S. News website, different schools had misreported different sets of data which resulted in their higher numerical ranking.

Along with UC Berkeley, Scripps College, Mars Hill University, the University of North Carolina—Pembroke and Johnson & Wales University have also been moved to the “Unranked” category for falsifying data.

UC Berkeley told the website that its two-year alumni giving rate for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 was 11.6 percent instead of the correct rate of 7.9 percent for 2019. The school also included pledges in the alumni giving data and has been doing it since 2014.

The average alumni giving rate is assigned a weight of 5 percent in accordance with the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

“This doesn’t follow the U.S. News definition, which is based on the federal government and industry standards that clearly state only tax-deductible gifts should be included, excluding pledges that don’t qualify for an IRS charitable deduction,” the U.S. News said.

Rhode Island-based Johnson & Wales University over-reporting its financial resource expenditures budget for its Providence campus by including data from all Johnson & Wales campuses.

The latest move will affect schools placement in the National Universities, Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans and A-Plus Schools for B Students rankings and lists that U.S. News puts out.

“Misreporting is rare, and U.S. News takes misreporting very seriously,” the website said. “In addition to the rankings, U.S. News publishes data provided by schools in order to assist consumers as they evaluate their education options.”

In May, the U.S. News had unranked the University of Oklahoma for inflating its two-year alumni-giving rate, which began under former university president David Boren and was uncovered by president Jim Gallogly.

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