LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) --- Even before the snow melts on campus, high school juniors are sending in applications and universities are hoping to get the cream of the crop too, but UW La Crosse admissions director Corey Sjoquist said he’s still surprised when he hears of colleges going to such lengths as faking numbers for higher ratings.
“As college admission and attracting prospective students is becoming more and more competitive that is one of the reasons that a college or university might take that step to report false information,” said Sjoquist.
UW La Crosse Institutional Research Director Natalie Solverson said every school gets specific instructions on how to submit the information for rankings, and more than one person at UW La Crosse checks things before they’re sent in.
“There’s a lot of checks and balances in the system that we have in order to complete these questions for the rankings and that’s something we really do strive to, because we want to represent accurately what’s going on here at UW La Crosse,” said Solverson.
Rankings shouldn’t be the only factor when it comes to choosing a school. The best way to find out if a school is a good fit is to visit campus.
Students we talked to said they also considered majors and locations.
They said it’s wrong for schools to falsify admissions data.
“It’s the equivalent to somebody falsifying a resume or something like that to get a job when they’re not meeting the qualifications,” said Tyler Springer.
“You could be looking at a school and thinking it’s a good school to go to and once you get there you realize it’s not as good as the rankings say it was,” said Kendra Hutchins.
UW La Crosse said you should also look at a school’s web site for information and talk to faculty and students.
UW La Crosse leaders said sometimes giving the wrong data is pure accident. They also said technology makes it hard for someone to falsify information there, because all of their test scores are submitted electronically, and you can see if someone changed the numbers.