The University of California-Berkeley, a liberal higher education institution in the northern California city of Berkeley, was recently taken off the U.S. News’s 2019 Best Colleges rankings after reporting incorrect data to the magazine. The annual list takes into account alumni giving rates, but the university apparently reported a higher rate than what the data indicated.
Specifically, U.S. News collects various data sets from colleges and universities, and the alumni giving rates excludes alumni pledges. The alumni giving rate accounts for 5% of the ranking system. University of California-Berkeley included the alumni pledges in their data, and as a result of the mistake, the U.S. News took the university off from their top-two rating and placed it in the “unranked” category. But the university can be ranked in the 2020 list when it submits the correct data to U.S. News. The university president and chancellor will have to certify the data when it is submitted to U.S. News for the next three years.
The university reported incorrect data going back to 2014. For example, their 2016 and 2017 giving rate was 11.6%, when the actual rate without alumni pledges was 7.9%.