Statement From Columbia University Confirms Use of Inaccurate Data in College Rankings

Sara Paredes, Feature Editor

On Sept. 9, Columbia University released a statement regarding inaccurate data submitted to the United States News and World Report for consideration in college rankings. 

Following Columbia Math Professor Michael Thaddeus’ investigation of the topic in February, Columbia’s standings seemed to improve at a striking rate compared to any other university. Thaddeus noted that at the debut of national ranking in 1988, Columbia University was ranked 21, and second in 2021. 

According to the university’s Friday statement, “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” were used when reporting data to the U.S. News and World Report. In a separate account made in June, after discovering Thaddeus’s findings, Columbia University refrained from reporting data for consideration in the 2022 undergraduate college rankings. 

Consequently, Columbia University has announced its participation in a Common Data Set (CDS) initiative for this fall, to provide reliable information to students regarding institutions of higher education.