- Columbia University admits to reporting inaccurate data for US News & World Report college rankings.
- Thaddeus wrote that many vital figures supporting Columbia’s high ranking are inaccurate, dubious, or highly misleading.
Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League, dropped to No. 18 in the controversial US News & World Report’s college rankings after agreeing it submitted inaccurate data to the publication as its ranking soared.
The questioning of Columbia’s ranking came after the school was named the No. 2 university in the 2021 annual college rankings, tied with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
The increase in the New York City-based university’s ranking caught the eye of Columbia math professor Michael Thaddeus. As he noted in a blog post, the university had continued to climb the rankings since they were No. 18 in its initial release in 1988.
After checking data the university sent to the publication to determine how the meteoric rise occurred, Thaddeus concluded Columbia University had significant discrepancies in student and faculty information that worked in favor of the school. He also found that the school did not disclose complete financial data or graduation and transfer rates.
Thaddeus wrote that several important figures supporting Columbia’s high ranking are inaccurate, dubious, or highly misleading.
Red flags were also raised by US News & World Report. The publication removed Columbia University from the rankings list in July after it failed to respond to multiple US News requests that the university substantiate certain data it previously submitted to the US News.
After much controversy surrounding the university’s ranking, Columbia Provost Mary Boyce admitted in a statement that the university had not given complete accuracy in its data. Two things Columbia admitted were reportedly incorrect were its undergraduate class size data and that 100% of its faculty had a Ph.D. or terminal degree.
US News & World Report had initially said Columbia University was not going to be included in the updated rankings but ultimately ranked No. 18 in 2022, tied with the University of Notre Dame.
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