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Claremont McKenna College under fire for SAT cheating scandal

January 31, 2012 |  7:02 am

SAT books
Claremont McKenna College is under fire for exaggerating the collective SAT exam scores of incoming freshman classes for the last six years, boosting statistics used for national school rankings.

A senior official in the school's admissions office has taken responsibility and resigned, according to an announcement Monday by the school president.

"As an institution of higher education with a deep and consistent commitment to the integrity of all our academic activities, and particularly our reporting of institutional data, we take this situation very seriously," President Pamela B. Gann wrote in a memo distributed at the prestigious liberal arts college, which enrolls about 1,321 students.

The school, in Claremont, refused to identify the official who resigned.

However, Richard Vos, who recently has been vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, was not listed Monday on the school's website, and a campus spokesman confirmed that Vos is no longer employed by the college.

The collective score averages often were hyped by about 10 to 20 points in sections of the SAT tests, Gann said. That is not a large increase, considering that the maximum score for each section is 800 points. The school said no individual student's scores were altered.

But the numbers might have been enough to affect an otherwise tied position on the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of colleges. Claremont McKenna was ranked the ninth-best national liberal arts college in the magazine's most recent survey, up from 11th the year before.


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Photo: A variety of study aids have been available for students to prepare for the SAT. Credit: Los Angeles Times.