U.S. News & World Report has unranked Columbia University from a number of rankings in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges (first published September 2021) after Columbia failed to respond to multiple U.S. News requests that the university substantiate certain data it previously submitted to U.S. News.
After learning about questions relating to Columbia’s submission, U.S. News Chief Data Strategist Robert Morse first contacted Columbia in March 2022 requesting Columbia substantiate data reported in its 2021 U.S. News statistical surveys on its counts of instructional full-time and part-time faculty, count of full-time faculty with a terminal degree, student-faculty ratio, undergraduate class size data, and educational expenditures data for the 2022 Best Colleges rankings. To date, Columbia has been unable to provide satisfactory responses to the information U.S. News requested.
Therefore, today U.S. News moved the university to being “Unranked” in National Universities, meaning it no longer has a numerical rank in the 2022 National Universities, 2022 Best Value Schools, and 2022 Top Performers on Social Mobility because those rankings used data from the university’s statistical surveys.
Columbia will remain ranked in the 2022 Undergraduate Teaching, 2022 Most Innovative Schools, 2022 Writing in the Disciplines, 2022 First-Year Experience, 2022 Undergraduate Engineering and 2022 Undergraduate Computer Science rankings because those rankings are based entirely on ratings from top officials at other universities and departments and did not incorporate data reported by Columbia. Likewise, Columbia’s graduate-level schools and programs remain ranked because the institution reported data on them through separate processes.
U.S. News is committed to providing quality information on institutions across the country and relies on schools to accurately report their data so prospective students and their families can make informed decisions throughout their college search. When schools do not accurately report their data, U.S. News will review the matter on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate remedial actions.
As noted by U.S. News Editor and Chief Content Officer Kim Castro last week when U.S. News learned about Columbia’s acknowledgement it is unable to meet U.S. News’ data standards for the 2023 Best College Rankings (scheduled to publish September 2022), we continue to be concerned and are reviewing various options to ensure our rankings continue to uphold the highest levels of integrity.
The Unranked status has been noted on Columbia’s profile page on usnews.com. In addition, for the benefit of prospective students, U.S. News has deleted the data in question from the school’s profile pages and in the U.S. News College Compass tool.