The University of Wisconsin College of Engineering was stripped of its graduate school ranking with U.S. News and World Report due to a falsely reported acceptance rate of 8.9%. (The real acceptance rate was 18.7%.) The school went from being tied for number 14 to “unranked.” It should be noted that the No. 6 and No. 4 rankings for UW’s graduate chemical and nuclear engineering programs, respectively, were not affected by this error because they were calculated “on a separate methodology.”
The mistake was uncovered by an outside (outside the engineering department) investigation after initial questions were raised. So if you ever see published numbers that don’t seem right, please don’t be shy about speaking up! Also, we hope this serves as one more reason to take the rankings with a grain of salt. Basing something as important as school selection on rankings could be disastrous if it turns out a mistake, intentional or otherwise, was made by the school.