- Columbia College faces twin lawsuits from two former college students alleging the Ivy League establishment broke a New York client safety regulation — and its contract with them — by submitting doubtlessly false information to bolster its placement on U.S. Information and World Report’s Greatest Schools rankings.
- One pupil, who remained nameless in courtroom filings, sued Tuesday, whereas the opposite, Ravi Campbell, filed a lawsuit in mid-July. Each argue college students paid “a premium for tuition and different charges” however have been disadvantaged of the training Columbia claimed to supply when it submitted info for rankings about components like student-to-faculty ratios and sophistication sizes. They described Columbia’s alleged misreporting as false, immoral and unethical.
- Columbia didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Wednesday afternoon. The plaintiffs are searching for the circumstances to be class motion, however they have to be licensed as such.
The saga regarding Columbia’s place within the U.S. Information and World Report rankings started in February. Columbia arithmetic professor Michael Thaddeus that month publicly launched an evaluation of rankings information the college had submitted to the publication.
Thaddeus discovered proof Columbia had distorted info associated to a number of metrics used to find out the rankings, comparable to undergraduate class sizes and the way a lot the non-public New York establishment spends on instruction.
He had in contrast public-facing information within the U.S. Information rankings to figures Columbia launched in monetary statements and different sources.
At first, Columbia stood by the information’s veracity. However on the final day of June, it introduced it could drop out of the upcoming rankings, because it had not completed an investigation it had launched into Thaddeus’ allegations.
Additional, U.S. Information in July kicked Columbia off of this yr’s Greatest Schools rankings. Representatives from the journal mentioned the college had not responded to a number of requests to substantiate the accuracy of sure information factors. On the time, a Columbia spokesperson mentioned the establishment was upset by the transfer, however mentioned it thought of “this a matter of integrity and can take no shortcuts in getting it proper.”
Columbia had been slotted No. 2 on the newest spherical of rankings. Its elimination will possible sharpen criticism that the checklist too typically influences institutional decision-making with the intention to climb the rankings.
The 2 lawsuits filed in opposition to the college are almost an identical. The plaintiffs need the establishment to pay damages to college students who’ve attended Columbia from 2016 via 2022. Courtroom filings state they have no idea what number of college students this might cowl however estimate it’s “many greater than 30,000” people.
Plaintiffs additionally argued they might not have utilized to Columbia had they recognized concerning the college’s alleged misrepresentation.