The Ivy Coach Daily

December 23, 2020

Universities Absolutely Care About Rankings

The US News & World Report college ranking is the kingpin of the college rankings.

And they say they don’t care about the rankings. Right, and water is dry. You know how admissions officers at America’s universities like to say that where their universities fall in the annual rankings is unimportant to them and you know how we at Ivy Coach have long insisted that it’s all about the rankings, well, we figured we’d belabor the point today. After all, in breaking news, Temple University will pay $700,000 to the United States Department of Education. But they’re not paying the money because they are oh so generous. No, they’re paying the money because the school was caught with its proverbial hand in the cookie jar misreporting admissions data to US News & World Report to manipulate the rankings.

Smile and Nod When Admissions Officers Insist They Don’t Care About Rankings

As Susan Snyder reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer in a piece entitled “Temple to pay $700K to settle U.S. Dept. of Education claims over business school rankings scandal,” “The scandal rocked the North Philadelphia school in 2018, when it announced its business school had knowingly reported false data to the publication about its online MBA program and ousted its dean, who subsequently filed a lawsuit against Temple. Multiple investigations and lawsuits ensued. Temple estimated its cost of cleaning up the scandal to be $17 million, including settlement payments and more than two years of remedial measures, including additional staffing, auditing, and other professional fees. But under the terms of the settlement, the university does not admit wrongdoing or liability, the department said.”

The Kingpin of College Rankings

Yes, it doesn’t take a game of detective to surmise that the numbers tell the story: colleges care deeply about where they land in the rankings. Because when a school has to spend $17 million to clean up trying to manipulate the rankings, well, it sure doesn’t sound like they’re indifferent to where they land on the list. And of all the annual college rankings, which has the most weight? That would be — you guessed it — US News & World Report. It is, as we’ve long called it, the kingpin of the college rankings.

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