In keeping with the U.S. News topic that Geoffrey Rapp is blogging about, here’s a reminder that just when you think you’ve seen every imaginable ploy for gaming the rankings, something new comes along. As reported by the New York Times:
Baylor University in Waco, Tex., which has a goal of rising to the first tier of national college rankings, last June offered its admitted freshmen a $300 campus bookstore credit to retake the SAT, and $1,000 a year in merit scholarship aid for those who raised their scores by at least 50 points.
Of this year’s freshman class of more than 3,000, 861 students received the bookstore credit and 150 students qualified for the $1,000-a-year merit aid, said John Barry, the university’s vice president for communications and marketing. . . .
The offer, which was reported last week by the university’s student newspaper, The Lariat, raised Baylor’s average SAT score for incoming freshmen to 1210, from about 1200, Mr. Barry said. That score is one of the factors in the rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report.
I bet that even as I type this last sentence, someone out there is already trying to figure out whether a law school could use a similar strategy to raise its LSAT scores.