Some US law schools have been caught manipulating programs to climb college rankings in US News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal reports. Institutions boost their performance statistics by channeling first-year students with lower test scores and grades into part-time programs that aren't considered in the rankings. The magazine is considering changing its methods to crack down.
The rankings are tremendously important to a school's attraction to top students and its financial fortunes. One former law dean compared managing the rankings to corporate executives "trying to meet analysts' quarterly expectations by massaging the numbers." Another dean accused of gaming the system argued that the US News ranking is "not a moral code—its' a set of seriously flawed rules of a magazine."