USC sued by former students for rankings fraud

The University of Southern California is being sued by a couple of its own graduates on the grounds of rankings deception.

Three former USC students filed a suit claiming that USC’s Rossier School of Education advertised a ranking from U.S. News & World Report that was based on incomplete and deceptive data.

U.S. News & World Report is the premier college rankings system. The rankings are largely compiled from information submitted by the schools themselves. Meaning that a school could influence its ranking by submitting favorable data or excluding other data. This is exactly what the graduates claim USC did.

The claim is that USC boosted its ranking from No. 38 to No. 10 by submitting deceptively favorable data. USC’s own internal investigation found evidence of such. The second part of the claim is that USC used the ranking they received in advertisements which led students to attend who may have otherwise attended elsewhere.

The graduates are asking the court to reimburse the cost of attending.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings have recently come under fire for lack of transparency and faulty metrics prompting several prominent schools to no longer participate in the process.

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