Concordia College sets its ranking straight

Not fans of Washington Monthly

In what’s probably a no-duh moment for those who know of the institution, it turns out Concordia College of Moorhead should never have been on Washington Monthly‘s list of worst College Drop-Out Factories.

I remember calling Concordia spokeswoman Amy Kelly at home the evening I saw the ranking, which erroneously stated that Concordia had a graduation rate of only 5 percent. (Scroll down the link above to get to the Concordia section.)

She assured me the magazine had made a mistake, and a little research showed the college has in fact an overall grad rate of 59 percent — which I included in my post.

Big goof for the magazine — compounded by Kelly’s assertion (assuming it’s accurate) that it had never called the college about the final ranking. (It’s a tough job when you’re dealing with a lot of institutions, but when journalists report negative data like that, it’s considered good practice to call for reaction and double-check figures.)

It was one element in a fairly high-profile error. Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews — who I think saw the list after the magazine had dropped Concordia — wrote about yet another revision involving other colleges.

I’ve got a call out to see whether the goof caused any problems for the folks in Moorhead.

  • Shane

    Did you notice the wording on the corrected list? That the schools reported incorrect data to the government. I wonder if this is correct.

    As a Concordia College alum, I'm glad this mistake was cleared up.

    • Afriedrich

      Thanks, Shane. I'm not sure whether that's the case with Concordia, which was not mentioned in the Washington Post story as being among the colleges pulled for that reason. I'll double-check with the spokeswoman, though she didn't indicate that was the cause of the error. In any case, the magazine really needed to double-check that kind of data.

      Were many Concordia alums talking about it, or did it fly under their radar?