To make the grade in college rankings, Simmons College defends fake data
- Inside Higher Ed reports on the case of Simmons College and its nursing program, which made the list of US News and World Reports' 2016 'Best Grad Schools' ranking after submitting faulty data for consideration.
- According to the report, Simmons provided information about graduation rates, faculty achievements and proportion of full-time enrollees that was so off base, the school was moved to 'unranked' status by the publication, though Simmons maintained the badge on its website.
- School officials say the inaccurate data was a result of US News changing some of its reporting standards for consideration, and that while some data may have been misinterpreted, the quality of the program has not changed. They say the badge will remain displayed until the end of the year.
Simmons offers a look into how to get away with inaccurate reporting, seemingly operating on the notion that parents and students will accept the promotion without actually researching the data itself. Obviously, campuses should not provide false data for consideration in rankings, but they should consider the value in providing their own facts about employment placement, student access, and diversity through their own channels to promote their own competitiveness.
- Inside Higher Ed Data faulty but badge remains
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