A Message from President Steven Knapp

A message from the president of George Washington University about steps the university is taking to correct a flaw in the collection and reporting of high school class rank.

November 8, 2012

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To the George Washington University Community:                                  

This past summer, Provost Steven Lerman reorganized the university’s undergraduate enrollment management functions under new leadership. In the process, the Provost’s Office reviewed the university’s admissions statistics and found a flaw in the method used to determine the percentage of incoming freshmen who rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Upon closer review of the records, the percentage of the incoming freshmen for the class of 2015 in the top 10 percent of their class was found to be 58 percent rather than the 78 percent that had been reported.

While class rank is not one of the statistics reported to the U.S. Department of Education, it is one of many statistics we provide to U.S. News & World Report. We have informed U.S. News of this error and provided corrected data for the class of 2015.

The Finance and Audit Committee of the George Washington University Board of Trustees engaged Baker Tilly Beers & Cutler, an independent accounting and advisory firm that serves as the university’s internal auditor, to assess the undergraduate enrollment data the university provides annually to the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report, and other entities. The assessment revealed no reporting issues other than class rank. The data reviewed included the number of applications, the acceptance rate, the percentage of accepted students who enrolled, high school class rank, and SAT/ACT scores.

Furthermore, the Provost is conducting a national search for a Senior Associate Provost for Enrollment Management. In the interim, the Office of Academic Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment, under the direction of Senior Vice Provost Forrest Maltzman, will be responsible for overseeing the collection and reporting of all admissions data.

In this as in every other matter, I am committed to ensuring that the university maintain the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in all its communications. I deeply regret this error and want to assure you that corrective action has been taken and safeguards put into place to prevent such errors from occurring in the future.