The Ivy Coach salutes “US News & World Report” for keeping them honest by removing George Washington University’s #51 ranking among best national universities. George Washington, it was recently revealed, misreported class rank data to the magazine and thus their rank in the September issue was better than it should have been had the data reported been accurate. George Washington University is now unranked and will be unranked until the 2014 “US News & World Report” “Best Colleges” edition.
Said GW president Steven Knapp in a statement about the “US News” ranking, “We were surprised by the decision of U.S. News to remove George Washington’s numerical ranking rather than to correct it in light of our disclosure. We regret the error and have put safeguards in place to prevent such errors from occurring in the future.” We can’t imagine why Mr. Knapp was surprised. The university misreported data that led to an inaccurate ranking. If students plagiarize a term paper, don’t they suffer consequences? Your university tried to game the system — whether knowingly or unknowingly — and it’s only fair that they should be removed from the rankings as a result of this. The school ranked #52, after all, didn’t misreport data (to our knowledge).
“US News & World Report” sent a great message to college admissions officers (and Deans of Admission in particular). Report accurate data. If you don’t, your school will go unranked. The “US News & World Report” rankings are hugely important for universities and thus it’s fitting that GW should be penalized this year. They’ll think twice next time they even consider misreporting data. And so will every other university across the United States.