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The Ivy Coach Daily

April 30, 2022

The Scandals of USC

Another day, another scandal at the University of Southern California.

We’ve been writing about the highly selective college admissions process for three decades. Over the years we’ve been covering the arena, there have been some, shall we say, recurring themes. Admissions officers claiming their schools are need-blind when in fact they’re need aware. Parents scratching their heads when their well-rounded children don’t earn admission to the colleges of their dreams. High school counselors making the case it doesn’t really matter where students go to college. And on and on. Another recurring theme? Admissions scandals at the University of Southern California. Yes, it’s another day, another scandal for USC.

As Melissa Korn reports in a piece for The Wall Street Journal entitled “Former USC Education-School Dean Pushed Flawed Rankings Data, Law-Firm Report Finds,” “The former dean of the University of Southern California’s education school directed administrators to omit information from its U.S. News & World Report rankings submission to boost the school’s placement at least as far back as 2013, according to an investigation released Friday by the university. Last month USC said it was pulling the Rossier School of Education from consideration in the U.S. News & World Report graduate-school rankings, citing data errors going back at least five years. It asked the law firm Jones Day to investigate. Jones Day said in its report it found the school had intentionally misreported information to US News & World Report about the selectivity of its doctoral programs.”

Of course, this kind of misreporting to the kingpin of all of the college rankings — US News & World Report — happens quite regularly. It’s just that elite universities don’t always get caught misreporting such data. But USC, the epicenter of the Varsity Blues scandal, has a way of getting its outstretched hand stuck in the cookie jar quite regularly. And to think that admissions officers at America’s elite universities, like USC, claim they don’t care about the US News & World Report rankings. If they didn’t care about the rankings, why go to the trouble of misreporting their data? Oh please. While the scandals of USC are a recurring theme of this college admissions blog, an even more occurring them is, of course, admissions officers claiming they don’t care about the rankings. Uh huh. And water is dry.

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