From Forbes (a source which apparently needs to do some proofing): Yesterday, US News & World Report released a statement titled“Updates to 5 Schools' 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data.” In the statement, they announced that five schools had been removed from the 2019 edition of the US News Best Colleges rankings, most notably UC Berkeley.
According to US News, during the data collection period for the upcoming 2020 rankings, UC Berkeley notified US News that they had been misreporting data since at least 2014 by including pledges in their alumni giving a percentage (instead of only actual, tax-deductible donations).
Wait! Before we go on, does anyone know what the sentence above means? "including pledges in their alumni giving a percentage (instead of only actual, tax-deductible donations)"
In response, US News removed them from their Best Colleges rankings, listing them as“Unranked” in their profile. The overall rankings are unchanged, meaning the#2 spot of “Top Public Schools” is currently empty.
This is terrible timing for the school’s reputation, even though, as alumni giving only accounts for 5% of the ranking, it’s unclear how much this misreporting would have altered UC Berkeley’s historical rankings. The school had long been the highest-ranked public university on the list, with UCLA in a close second, but when the 2019 rankings were announced, UCLA came in first for the first time (though Berkeley was quick to point out that it had“maintained its numerical score from last year”). Now, not only is Berkeley unlikely to raise its score enough to top the 2020 rankings, but its prior rankings may be called into question (despite alumni giving rates being a relatively minor part of the equation)...