Neeley Tossed Off U.S. News MBA Ranking

U.S. News today (April 4) yanked Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business from its newest ranking of full-time MBA programs after dsicovering that the school misreported GMAT data.

Neeley originally told U.S. News that the average GMAT school for its latest incoming class of full-time MBAs was 678 when, in fact, it was 38 points lower at 640.

The school was proactive in notifying U.S. News shortly after the March 17th release of the 2019 ranking. Neeley was ranked 54th, a jump of 17 places from 71st a year earlier. Now, U.S. News has moved the school to the “unranked” category.

“When we were inputing the data we put the wrong number in and didn’t catch it until after we saw the ranking,” says David Allen, associate dean for graduate programs at Neeley. “Our ranking had jumped pretty significantly from the previous year so it led us to go back to look more closely at the data. We found it was incorrect and we immediately let them know it was wrong and what the correct number was.”

Average GMAT and GRE scores play a critical role in U.S. News’ methodology for ranking full-time MBA programs, accounting for 16.25% of the ranking. Because many schools are so closely clustered together in the ranking, small changes can have a big impact on a school’s numerical rank.


“The school significantly overstated the full-time average GMAT score of its fall 2017 entering class,” according to U.S. News. “The misreported data resulted in the school’s numerical rank being higher than it otherwise might have been in the full-time MBA program rankings.

U.S. News relies on schools to accurately report their data. In this case, Texas Christian University submitted the data on its own during the fall 2017 data collection period and also completed the data verification process, assuring U.S. News that the information was accurate.”

U.S. News said the school’s unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Business Schools rankings and until Texas Christian University confirms the accuracy of its next data submission.


Earlier this year, U.S. News tossed Temple University’s Fox School of Business No. 1 ranked online MBA program off its newest ranking after finding out that the school misreported critical data on its program. Temple had reported that all 255 of the program’s latest incoming class submitted GMAT scores to get into the program. In fact, the school acknowledged that only 50 students, or 19.6%, submitted GMAT scores.

Temple also asked U.S. News to withdraw the school from its rankings on full- and part-time MBA programs, potentially a signal that there could be problems with the data the school already submitted for those lists. Last year, Fox’s full-time MBA program moved up nine places to rank 32nd.

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