90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, April 8, 2013

Colleges Misreport Data To Boost Rankings

Graduates from various institutions toss their hats in the air in Philadelphia, May 20, 2011. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Graduates from various institutions toss their hats in the air in Philadelphia, May 20, 2011. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Over the last two years, seven major universities have admitted to misreporting their admissions statistics to make them look more selective.

This in turn increases their standings in rankings like U.S. News and World Report.

A 2011 study at the Harvard Business School found that rising by just one number in the U.S. News & World Report rankings leads to a nearly one percent increase in applications.

The American Bar Association has penalized several law schools for misreporting their statistics to make them more attractive.

Fifteen law schools are being sued for fraud and false advertising for allegedly misreporting graduates’ job-placement rates.

But for most universities, there is no punishment for misreporting these numbers.

Jon Marcus, contributing editor for the Hechinger Report, says that there’s really no way to tell how extensive the problem is.

“I talked with the Department of Education, who also receives these statistics,” Marcus said. “They could not tell me how many times changes to the data were significant, but changes to reported data were common.”

Guest:

  • Jon Marcus, contributing editor for the Hechinger Report.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 21 Comment

Jim Gaffigan’s Love Affair With Food

The stand-up comic gives his particular gastronomic take on the world in his new memoir "Food: A Love Story."

October 21 Comment

Jill Abramson Announces Plans For News Startup

The former New York Times executive editor said her goal is to create a news outlet that favors quality over quantity.

October 20 Comment

Alternate Routes: Lasting Impressions From The Road

Our digital and social media producer Rachel Rohr is back from a month-long trip cross-country, talking with young Americans.

October 20 Comment

Mario Batali Goes Farm To Table

The chef and restaurateur discusses the "farm to table" trend and shares recipes with a hearty and rustic twist.