Scripps pulled from U.S. News & World Report college rankings for misreporting data

The walkway outside Scripps' Toll residence hall
Scripps College lost its ranking in the U.S. News & World Report after misreporting its alumni giving rate by almost eight percentage points. (Courtesy: Sondra Abruzzo)

Scripps College lost its spot on the U.S. News & World Report 2019 best colleges list after it told the media company that it had misreported its alumni giving rate by almost eight percentage points.

The school had initially told U.S. News & World Report that its two-year alumni giving rate for 2016 and 2017 was 27.3 percent, but later corrected this rate to 19.9 percent.

“While preparing the U.S. News & World Report data submission this year, the college discovered discrepancies in the prior year’s data,” Scripps spokeswoman Rachael Warecki said in a statement emailed to TSL. “The college proactively notified U.S. News of the error and provided corrected figures to rectify our mistake.”

Before being unranked, the school was tied for 30th in the “National Liberal Arts Colleges” list and was ranked 92nd in the “Best Value Schools” list, according to an archived version of the page.

The average alumni giving rate is worth five percent of a school’s overall ranking, according to U.S. News & World Report. But since the inflated data raised Scripps’ position on the list, the organization unranked it.

“We have implemented processes and systems to ensure the integrity of current and future US News submissions,” Warecki said. “Scripps College recognizes the importance of providing accurate data to publications that play a valuable role in informing prospective students, families and the broader public about their higher education options.”

Four other colleges also notified the media organization of misreported data and were subsequently unranked, including the University of California, Berkeley.

This instance is not the first time one of the 5Cs has run into issues with U.S. News and World Report.

Claremont McKenna College revealed in 2012 that it had reported false SAT statistics from 2005 to 2012 to the organization, as well as to the Department of Education and credit rating agency Moody’s.

The school’s dean of admissions and financial aid resigned shortly before the announcement, TSL previously reported. 

Pamela Gann, who was the CMC president at the time, blamed the scandal on “a sole person [who] had too much authority over reporting.”

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Marc Rod

Marc Rod PO '20 is from Rye Brook, New York. He currently serves as TSL's managing editor and previously worked as news editor, news associate and news writer.

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