An article by The New York Times discusses new information with regards to a college inflating SAT figures to get a higher college ranking. Claremont McKenna College is a small, prestigious school in California and reports indicate that the school has been providing falsely elevated SAT scores to boost its college ranking. The SAT scores are used by publications like the U.S. News & World Report to influence rankings. Claremont McKenna College admits that the scores they reported “were generally inflated by an average of 10-20 points each” for the critical reading and math scores.
Although the changes they made were small, the differences could greatly influence their resulting ranking in a world where colleges fight tooth and nail for every slight edge against their competitors. Claremont McKenna College has a student body of approximately 1,200 students and puts a strong emphasis on political science and economics. Ms. Pamela Gann, the college’s President, was recently made aware of the inaccurate reporting. Ms. Gann requested an investigation by other administrators that led to a guilty party, who resigned.
Falsifying information is wrong in general, so President Gann has done well to address the issue head on. Her statement was that, “as an institution of higher education with a deep and consistent commitment to the integrity of all our academic activities, and particularly our reporting of institutional data, we take this situation very seriously.” Kudos to you, President Gann, for not backing down and for dealing with the issue. College rankings have long helped students make decisions on which school to attend.
Did you use the college rankings information to make your college decision? Would information like this steer you away for certain colleges or do you think that your choice is independent of average SAT score data? Let us know what you think in the comment box below!