Provost Mary Boyce’s Statement Regarding U.S. News and World Report’s Undergraduate Survey

Announcement regarding the University’s decision to refrain from submitting data to U.S. News and World Report for this year’s undergraduate college rankings. 

June 30, 2022

A few months ago, a member of our faculty, Professor Michael Thaddeus, raised questions regarding the accuracy of some of the data the University submitted to U.S. News and World Report for its annual ranking of undergraduate universities. Columbia leaders take these questions seriously, and we immediately embarked on a review of our data collection and submissions process.

In light of the work underway, we will refrain from submitting to U.S. News and World Report this year. The deadline for that submission is July 1. Given the extensive analysis required to review the data and ensure it complies with U.S. News methodologies, we cannot complete our work with the appropriate care within that timeframe.

Columbia has long conducted what we believed to be a thorough process for gathering and reporting institutional data, but we are now closely reviewing our processes in light of the questions raised. The ongoing review is a matter of integrity. We will take no shortcuts in getting it right.

To help support prospective students and their families as they consider college choices, we plan to publish a Common Data Set this fall that will provide a useful profile of the extraordinary undergraduate experience at Columbia, including much of the same information that the U.S. News university profiles impart.

While disappointed that we will not be able to submit this year, a thorough review cannot be rushed. We pledge that we will work quickly and decisively to complete our process and move forward.