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GWU Pulled From U.S. News Rankings on Misreported Data

November 14, 2012

George Washington University was pulled from U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of top colleges after the news magazine learned the college submitted false data on its students’ academic achievements.

George Washington inflated the percentage of incoming students in 2011 who graduated near the top of their high school class, said Bob Morse, director of data research at U.S. News who runs the rankings. The Washington-based school, which had been ranked 51st nationwide, was moved to an “unranked” category on the publication’s website.

George Washington is one of at least three colleges this year found to have submitted incorrect data for U.S. News’s rankings, along with Atlanta-based Emory University and Claremont McKenna College near Los Angeles. The rankings help students choose colleges by rating the strength of institutions’ academic programs, according to the U.S. News website.

George Washington will remain unranked “until next fall’s publication of the 2014 edition of the Best Colleges rankings, and until George Washington confirms the accuracy of the school’s next data submission in accordance with U.S. News’s requirements,” Morse said in a statement on the website.

George Washington had reported that 78 percent of its incoming 2011 students had grades that put them in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 95 percent were in the top quarter, Morse said. In fact, 58 percent of the students were in the top 10th of their class, and 90 percent in the top quarter, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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