National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

'Best Colleges' List Will Not Include Sexual Assault Data, U.S. News Says

'Best Colleges' List Will Not Include Sexual Assault Data, U.S. News Says

May 12, 2014 — U.S. News & World Report said it will not incorporate data on campus sexual assaults into its methodology for ranking the nation's colleges and universities this year, National Journal reports.

Instead, the publication will feature the Department of Education's sexual assault data on individual schools' pages on its website.

The announcement came after a dozen House lawmakers sent a letter to the publication urging it to include the data.

In a blog post, Robert Morse, U.S. News' data director, wrote, "Campus safety is not among the factors U.S. News believes is directly tied to academic quality, and we believe that it should not be part of our main ranking methodology, even if it could be measured."

Brian Kelly, U.S. News editor and chief content officer, added that "campus crime data has been for many years particularly notorious for being unreliable." Some schools are not accurately reporting the information, so the rankings could not be used "as a comparative" between schools, he said.

Rep. Speier Responds

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), one of the letter's signees, said, "There's a huge wake-up call in this country by parents who are very alarmed by the fact that 20 percent of college co-eds will be either sexually assaulted or [experience] an attempted sexual assault ... during their college career. And that is significant."

She added, "And if U.S. News & World Report doesn't think that that's a significant element in ranking the universities, then they'll hear from their readers, I'm sure" (Mimms, National Journal, 5/9).