The U.S. News and World Report college rankings are losing law schools as schools protest the ranking’s integrity. The rankings are plagued by a major scandal, which came about when a Columbia University professor alleged that Columbia fed false information to boost its rankings.
The Washington Post reported that law schools at the University of Washington, Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of California-Berkeley (UC-Berkeley), University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) also dropped out of the rankings. These schools’ withdrawal followed the lead of law schools at Harvard and Yale in the weeks after the Ivy League law schools’ decision.
The University of Pennsylvania law school, which ranks sixth, blasted the rankings as “unnecessarily secretive and contrary to important parts of our mission.”
The interim dean of UCLA’s law school, Russell Korobkin, said that their refusal to participate in the rankings because “honoring our core values comes at a cost in rankings points.” UCLA’s law school is ranked fifteenth.
Most of the criticism about the rankings are that the rankings methodology is secretive and not transparent, and the rankings could convince students to go to expensive colleges and universities while accruing significant student loan debt.
As law schools publicly announced their withdrawal from the rankings, sources told reporters that U.S. News is reaching out to hear law schools’ concerns about the rankings and overall process. U.S. News said, “The methodology for our rankings has evolved over the last 30 years and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of all students.”
In total, at least eight law schools have withdrawn from the rankings, and more could follow suit as the scandal drags on.