Illinois admits bad law school admissions data

Villanova University Law School now is not alone in having to deal with reputational fallout from the disclosure that grades of incoming freshmen were inflated.

The University of Illinois has confirmed that law school admission test scores and grade point averages for its income class had been inflated on its website. The school said Sept. 19 it was investigating the inaccurate admissions data, but offered no explanation of how it happened.

Villanova University disclosed Feb. 7 that admissions data for its incoming law school classes for an unspecified number of years before 2010 had been falsified. Following a six months of silence on the issue, the law school said that the inflated data had been created by a small number of administrators and admissions staff, who are no longer with the school. At the same time, the law school was censured by the American Bar Association, but it was told that it would not lose its accreditation.

There is a great deal of competition among law school for students with stellar LSAT scores and grade point averages.

 They figure into national rankings prepared by U.S. News & World Report, and help to burnish a school’s reputation and ability to recruit the best students. However, there has been enormous mistrust among academics about the reliability of the numbers. Some suspect that the Villanova and Illinois disclosures are the leading edge of more to come.

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