The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 28, 2013

Bucknell acknowledges inflating average SAT scores

PHILADELPHIA — Enrollment officials at Bucknell University, a selective liberal arts school in central Pennsylvania, inflated students’ average SAT scores over the past several years, the school’s president said.

Mean SAT results for incoming freshmen were overstated by an average of 16 points between 2006 and 2012, according to President John Bravman. The motive behind the misrepresentation is unclear, he said, though college entrance exam scores often figure into national rankings.

“These numerical omissions, as relatively small as they were, violated the trust of every student, faculty member, staff member and Bucknellian they reached,” he wrote Friday in a letter to the university community.

Bravman, who took office in 2010, attributed the inaccurate figures to officials who no longer work at Bucknell. The discrepancies were uncovered by a new enrollment administrator who noticed the next admissions class had average scores about 20 points lower than its predecessor.

An inquiry revealed that the scores of 13 to 47 students were omitted from the SAT calculation in each of the past seven years. That resulted in reported averages 7 to 25 points higher than they actually were, the president said.

The university did not disclose its actual or inflated mean scores. But Bucknell’s website, which Bravman said is now accurate, cites incoming scores for current freshmen as ranging between 1,200 and 1,390 out of a possible 1,600.

The school also underreported its average ACT score by one point during the same period, Bravman noted.

U.S. News & World Report placed Bucknell 32nd among national liberal arts colleges for 2013, while giving it top 10 rankings for its undergraduate engineering programs.

U.S. News drops a college from its rankings if falsified data improved that school’s position, according to its website. The school is restored “when it has provided assurances that the data it is providing are accurate,” the site says.

Bucknell has given U.S. News corrected data, Bravman said.

In the past year, four other colleges have acknowledged misreporting data to U.S. News, including Claremont McKenna, George Washington, Emory and Tulane’s business school.

Bucknell enrolls about 3,600 students on its campus in Lewisburg, about 150 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads