High-School Class Rank, a Slippery Metric, Loses Its Appeal for Colleges

December 3, 2012

As campus scandals go these days, l'Affaire de Class Rank at George Washington University was mild. No police were called, no subpoenas were issued. And the president kept hisjob. Still, the tale of fudged figures underscores a broader theme: Admissions data suggest decimal-point precision they don't always deliver. In November the university announced that it had inflated class-rank figures for more than a decade. An internal review found that admissions officials had long been estimating rank for some of the students whose high schools didn't calculate it.