One Way To Make Your College Look Better In Reviews Is To Lie About SAT Scores

When high school students and their parents are searching for the right college, many turn to publications like the U.S. News & World Report to check out how potential schools are ranked so they can make an informed decision on where to plunk down cash for an education. So it’s a pretty big deal that Claremont McKenna College has admitted to inflating the SAT scores of its current students.

The New York Times says that a senior administrator has admitted to falsifying SAT scores of the small California school to multiple publications for the last five years. That data is used in part to determine the ranking of a school against others, and helps students decide where to apply and eventually attend. The administrator has resigned his post of vice president and dean of admissions.

Claremont’s president says the critical reading and math scores reported to U.S. News and others “were generally inflated by an average of 10-20 points each.”

Even small differences can affect the rankings, which in turn can sway students to go to one university over another.

The senior vice president of publishing for The Princeton Review, Robert Franek, says this kind of deception is unheard of. His publication is based on opinion instead of test data, but even so he feels the schools should be upfront.

“We want to put out very clear information so that students can make an informed decision about their school,” he said. “I feel like so many schools have a very clear obligation to college-bound students to report this information honestly.”

College Says It Exaggerated SAT Figures for Ratings [New York Times]