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Top California college admits to exaggerating SAT scores to improve ranking

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It's not law school, but at this point it may not surprise many if it were. A top admissions official at Claremont McKenna College, a prestigious school in California, admitted to inflating the school’s SAT scores in order to help boost its standing in the national rankings. While this may be the most egregious example of a school seeking to game the rankings, it’s hardly the only one.

“There’s no question that rankings have had a negative effect on colleges, as they drive many schools to focus on statistics around perceived status,” said Jieun Choe, executive director of college prep and K-12 programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “The reality is that there are a number of ways schools have been able to influence their rankings-related statistics – whether it’s going SAT-optional to boost their SAT scores, or getting rid of an early admissions policy to increase applicant volume.”

“Realistically, the top echelon of schools hasn’t really changed over the past several decades, and beyond that, among competitive schools there’s no difference in quality when a student goes to the 22nd ranked school versus the 28th ranked school in the country. From a student perspective, rankings should play a minimal role in considering where they want to apply.”

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