Emory Admits To Falsifying Data In Rankings Reports For As Much As 10 Years

Emory University on Friday became the latest and one of the most prestigious schools to be found to have misreported key data in the rankings competition. The school misrepresented data for as much as ten years and the difference was considerable.

Since as early as 2000, Emory overstated SAT and ACT scores by using the higher average of admitted as opposed to actually enrolled students. The school may also have simply dropped the scores from the bottom 10 percent of its class.

Two prior Admissions deans were named. The redemptive moment came with John Latting, who was named dean of admission last year after serving at Johns Hopkins University, and noticed (and reported) the discrepancies.

Based on these inflated reports, Emory was ranked 20th in the latest edition of the US News and World Report’s list of “America’s Best Colleges.”

To give an example of the impact of the discrepancies, Emory previously reported 87 percent of its 2010 class was in the top 10 percent of their high school class — as measured by the middle 50 percent of students. That figure was actually 75 percent. Likewise, the SAT range for that group was reported as between 1310 and 1500. The real scores were between 1270 and 1460. In academic rankings, that is a very significant difference and would likely have dropped Emory in the rankings. A review of the published scores show Emory was already lower in some categories than schools below it like Georgetown and Berkeley.

It is also a reflection of the misuse of rankings. I happen to be in the minority of faculty who believe that U.S. News and World Report is a valuable resource and an improvement on what little existed as a resource for students before its creation. However, students and parents often misunderstand the significance of the rankings. The fact is that the top 25 schools are closely packed and it is a bit artificial to call one school “the third best” and another “the fifth best” in the country. I understand the value in specific rankings, but students need to understand that, with so many top international schools, the top schools are all extraordinary. Indeed, when you look at the top 50 list the competition is remarkable. The top 25-50 include such amazing schools as Michigan, Virginia, and NYU. Texas is 45th and GW 50th. The difference between these schools is often the same as the one-second margin dividing Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

Emory should be credited with coming clean on the issue. It remains one of the best universities in the world and it is a chilling thought that such a top school would feel the need to jimmy the data.

Source: US News

15 thoughts on “Emory Admits To Falsifying Data In Rankings Reports For As Much As 10 Years”

  1. How in the world did the University of Missouri get drug into this rant on Emory’s misdeeds? Someone jealous?

  2. Emory= Methodist=Christian=Who is surprised that these delusional people would lie to aggrandize themselves? Who is really surprised, that after a decade of lying, that their own special friend in the sky hasn’t dissolved this minor little transgression against everyone who values the truth.

    The devil made them do it, and they already did a human sacrifice to appease their god. Or, it sacrificed it’s own son, or some some other nonsensical claim. I’m all for getting religious delusion out of our government, and out of our schools. Yes, I understand that they have a constitutional right to teach falsehoods, but I don’t have to like it. And, I am really not surprised at this kind of conduct out of Christians.

    It is difficult to believe that 90% of the National Academy of Sciences can be wrong on the issue of gods and the claims of everlasting life.

  3. Emory, like many orgs and institutions in Atlanta is more about sizzle than steak. The university, itself, is a very uneven place which may be why so many of its departments, outside of teh med school remain fairly mediocre, overall. they buy big names, but don’t do much to build departments and, even in soft money areas like public health, they manage to support a lot of deadwood while productive faculty see the administration as a system that rakes-in indirects but fails to support university’s core missions. This doesn’t suprise me at all.

  4. Mespo…..

    You are so right…… But sometimes….. Some people get so lost in their small little world’s… That they forget that other people exist…….

  5. Colleges are not the only ones that feel the pressure to do this. Increasingly high school scores are tied into punitive measures and funding. This is only the beginning.

  6. Emory. Is that in Atlanta? Do they have Division I football? If I was paying for a kid to go to college I would not send him/her to a Division I sports school. The State Penn situation points out a lot of things. If Emory competes with China in math and science then I would overlook some things here. There is a school out there in that state that is about to elect Akin the rape denial guy that puts the word Mizzou on their tee shirts. They just moved to the SEC Conference and they report in the Kansas City newspaper that they are just thrilled to be there. I wonder what the SAT scores are at Mizzou. Do they even have math and science at a place like that? Did Todd Akin go there?

  7. I offer my morning drive -by steaming hot cup of snark.

    I’m shocked …shocked. Hopefully unethical accounting has not trickled down to our public, grade and high schools. I can’t imagine administrators that are vying for federal and state dollars fudging figures to enhance their standing and place in line at the public trough.

    If money, and profit is the goal, education will always be secondary*.

    * unintended double entendre

  8. I’d hazard a guess that there are other colleges/universities that have done the same thing or fudged data in order to get a higher ranking.

  9. Jimmy the data, Jimmy the Greek, jury rig the apparatus, monkey with it, the Penn State of mind, and all of a sudden we are talking education.

  10. “Emory should be credited with coming clean on the issue.”


    And after that it should be castigated for lying in the first place. The only one deserving of credit here is Dean Latting who merely did what we used to expect people to do in positions of authority: tell the truth and tell it timely. I suppose the rarity of that occurrence now merits applause.

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