Did a Top Liberal Arts College Falsify SAT Data to Legitimize Racial Preferences?

Charles C. Johnson, Big Government, February 1, 2012

Claremont McKenna College, a private liberal arts college in Los Angeles, has earned international infamy for fraudulently misreporting its SAT scores to game the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Richard Vos, dean of admissions since 1987, resigned in disgrace Monday, starting a nationwide debate about the role of SATs in higher education and the integrity of Claremont’s admission process. But absent from any analysis is this: Vos began falsifying SAT scores in 2005, right around the time Claremont began to institutionalize racial preferences. An investigation of the data since released suggests that Claremont manipulated the school’s scores to cover up admittance of under-qualified minority students.

Every spring, Claremont reports SAT scores from the preceding fall entering class to U.S. News & World Report. For the class admitted in 2004, its scores and data are sent in March 2005 and published in the fall issue.

The timing is relevant here because, in 2004, Claremont began admitting its first of four classes from the Posse Foundation, a full-scholarship program for inner-city students from Los Angeles. Ten students were admitted per year into a class of about 250 students, for a total of 40 students over four years. The students were personally interviewed by Vos and Gann, according to a press release from the college’s website in late December 2003, but in his 2005 report to U.S. News—the first year Posse students were admitted—Vos began falsifying SAT scores. The actual and manipulated mean SAT verbal and math scores are below; the median are accessible here.

In 2007, Claremont began admitting students from QuestBridge, another scholarship program for students from poor and largely minority backgrounds. {snip}

Although we do not know the statistics for the Posse students, we do have reason to doubt their academic qualifications as a group. At least one student flunked out and several took leaves of absence for academic reasons. A 1998 evaluation of the Posse program at Vanderbilt University found that athletes entered with an average of 1042 SAT score and maintained an average GPA of 3.13, while Posse students came in with a 900 average SAT and finished with a 2.93 average GPA. Due to the low grades of Posse students in their engineering programs, Rice and Lehigh canceled their involvement with Posse, according to the L.A. Times in 2004.

At Claremont, the class of 2011, admitted in 2007, is the only class admitted in its history to have members of both QuestBridge and Posse in its ranks. It was also the class that saw its mean math scores inflated the most—by 28 points.

{snip} In 2008, Claremont canceled its involvement with Posse for unstated reasons; in 2009 it canceled its involvement with QuestBridge for “financial considerations,” Vos told me via email on December 31, 2008.

The charts indicate that the scores for Claremont’s verbal and math SAT scores rose after 2009—the first year no Questbridge/Posse students were admitted.


Ever since Gann came to Claremont from Duke Law in 1999, she has stressed diversity. In 2004, she defended Kerri Dunn, a visiting psychology professor who faked a hate crime against herself and her car (Dunn was imprisoned for insurance fraud).

That incident got national attention. Gann pledged an independent investigation, though none took place. After Dunn’s hoax and the racial animus it stirred up, she bemoaned the low numbers of black undergraduates (then 4% of 1,052 students) and minority tenure-track professors to the St. Petersburg Times in 2004 and promised to fix the numbers.

There have always been grounds to challenge the college’s affirmative action policy. The Claremont Independent, the college’s conservative newspaper that I once edited, first reported that the college had been discriminating on racial lines in November 2006. “Statistics provided by the admissions office show that it admitted roughly 45% of both black and Hispanic applicants, vs. 22% of the white applicants and 17% of Asian applicants,” we wrote. Vos denied that such a racial agenda exists, but in 1999, Vos criticized the anti-racial preference Proposition 209 ballot measured passed by California voters. “Why would we change our policies?” he rhetorically asked when questioned whether Claremont would also be racially neutral. “We’ve always had a commitment to affirmative action, and now because some students perceive that the University of California system is perhaps not as welcoming as it was a few years ago, more students are now thinking of going to the private [colleges]. The UC’s loss is our gain.” {snip}


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  • Anonymous

    The Obama White House is already making federal funding for state universities contingent on how diverse the student body is.  Even when there is a ban on outright quotas, with some tricky legal finessing and a blind eye turned here and there, we are being steered toward a system where the determining factor in whether a  college will be able to pay its light bill is the level of diversity in its admissions.

    Individual battles won by whites in civil rights struggles (i.e. white fire fighters suing for merit-based promotion) are not going to have much effect on the larger war. Our enemies cannot be shamed by being exposed, scandalized, fired, or even arrested.

    • Anonymous

      There it is, even the truth will not set us free.  I wonder and this is after almost 40 years of a belly full of affirmative action, what left is there for us to do?  When I look back on the missed opportunities, the lower salary, the damaged pride, I am left with an overwhelming dread for what my white son will face.  At some point this will become a shooting war. 

      • Anonymous

        I believe you are absolutely correct and I fear that a civil war is probably closer than we even realize.

      • As horrific as that would be, I honestly believe that is our only hope now.

      • Anon

        todays whites face the paradox of affluent liberals shipping jobs offshore while these same white robber barons denigrate white pride.  the supposedly post-racial white liberals promote ‘affirmative action’ because in their hearts they know, minorities including asians cannot compete with whites.  the upside of affirmative action is that whites will become less soft.  increased mental toughness combined with superior intelligence will always win out.  whites have more intelligence, mental discipline and therefore do more with less.  minorities will continue to have multiple baby mothers, substance abuse issues and continue to default on their loans.  more money for them is like giving crack to a crack addict.  asians countries  rob white ingenuity while  90% of their respective populations  live in abject poverty and will continue to do so.  Which is why Asians will never be a credible threat to the west because they lack the creativity and ingenuity to build a diverse economy despite their supposed intelligence.   When race realism finally hits home and it will hit home,  those strategically placed white
        radical-feminists will abandon the ludicrous path of self destruction.
        When it is  fully realised  as it is already beginning to unfold,  the politically correct liberal left will be left dumbfounded.
         the future for whites is  very bright, very very bright indeed! 

        p.s- a better future for whites  actually means a much better future for blacks, asians and the planet as a whole.

  • Anonymous

    “…starting a nationwide debate about the role of SATs in higher education…”

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but that one statement was to me the most disconcerting passage in the whole article.  It feels like a suggestion that they need to be dropped as a portion of the admissions consideration. 

    I wouldn’t put it past them; even with the extra points for higher melanin content in the skin, it’s a major obstacle to diversifying campuses.  You can’t fake the SATs, seeing as how it’s basically an IQ test. 

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that every time we read about test scores being manipulated, minorities are in the middle of it?

  • One AA scam that colleges are pulling more and more is not requiring SATs/ACTs for applicants.  That way, those who submit their scores are a self-selecting sample of high scorers, those that don’t are favored minorities who scored not so well, so the college can have both a diverse class and can tell USNWR about their high SAT averages for the incoming Freshmen.

    • Anonymous

      Well I suppose that affirms my fears.

  • “But Vos’s cheating and prompt resignation–and Gann’s failure to monitor him–have many alumni wondering how deep the fraud goes and whether Gann should go, too”

    Obviously, this Vox was prompted to do a little creative adjusting at the prompting of Gann, who is a mentally disturbed PC dreg and has admitted that she is. 

    It’s childish to consider that this guy cheated so heavily all on his own.

    Gann proves Michael Savage’s assertion that liberalism is a mental disorder. 

  • Anonymous

    Gem from the article’s comment section:

    “This is the thing that boggles the mind, in the state of confusion, er California,with 37 million people of which at least 40% are minorities, this college can’t seem to come up with 10 students a year that have a decent SAT score.”

    • Not minorities, but blacks and hispanics. I have met some pretty bright hispanics, but they are white, as in full blooded Spaniards.

  • Anonymous

    Claremont-McKenna, by the way, is a “conservative” insititution.  Many of its faculty over the years have been adjunct scholars at The Heritage Foundation.  As if that’s done a lot of good.

    • What makes you think it is conservative? Because some of its faculty members are associated with THF? What do you want to bet that the vast majority of its faculty, students, and support staff voted for Obama?

  • Anonymous
  • “Posse program”…the name is fitting!

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      Here’s an interesting little factoid:

      President Obama donated $125,000 from his Nobel Peace Prize award to the Posse Foundation in March 2010.

      From one fraud to another.

  • Why is this news?

    Anyone who has ever had to deal with a non-white already knows about their level of Intelligence.

    I take that back.  Dealing with the Older Generation of some Black Folk ain’t bad.  They’re Polite, at least to me anyways, and while they may not be ‘quick on their feet’ so to speak, they have always been Polite and did try.  Genuinely tried.  I like to think that stems from their upbringing which was ‘controlled’ then.  Sorry about the word “controlled’ but it’s True.

    • Anonymous

      During my time in pharmacy school, and during undergrad I came across a few black students that were truly qualified to be there. There was one in particular that I would hire in a second – she was outstanding. However, these are exceptions rather than the rule.

      Far more common was seeing black students (and a few other minorities to a lesser degree), and even black professors who truly were not qualified to be there for anything other than a sociology, minority studies, or gender studies degree. Every once in awhile I would meet a surprise exception, but it was very easy in undergrad to look around, and see which students wouldn’t be there in 6 weeks when the drop date came up. Blacks were also largely absent from higher math, advanced physics, chemistry II, and completely absent from any of the advanced biology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry classes I attended.

      I had one professor that made me question how deep the rabbit hole goes, and how long this problem has been entrenched in the university system. The lecture on developing “rap-a-port” with clients was one of the truly priceless moments of that. No, this 40 something black female professor didn’t use it once to make a joke out of the word rappot. She used it probably 50 times in the lecture with that pronunciation, and the slides contained misuse, and misspelling of things like “here, hear, their, there …etc” We struggle with some pretty complex terms, and words at that level, but rapport really is a pretty basic college level word.

      This is not a new problem. Somehow this lady earned a doctorate degree, and managed to get hired by a state university to teach in the medical college.

      • That always has me stumped to.  If you can’t spell, compose a sentence and/or understand the difference tween to, too, two, there, their, they’re and so, sow and sew, I don’t understand why they’re allowed to keep moving forward.

        I mean, shouldn’t they know, at the very least, the basics?

        • Oh Lord.  Look at me.  I wrote “to” but I meant “too”.  I see I can’t spell “between” neither.

          • Anonymous

            LOL.  I thought you were just writing in ebonics… “tween” is always used for “between”. 😉

          • Anonymous

            That should be ‘I see I can’t spell “between” either.’. English doesn’t use double negatives except to make a positive. So it’s “I can do neither” or “I can’t do either”. If you say “I can’t do neither”, that means you have to do at least one.
            An irrational liberal would pounce on this chance to declare your whole argument invalid. But they are completely wrong. Your argument is correct, and your spelling and grammar are perfectly adequate for internet forum comments. The same can not be said for most black people.

  • Anonymous

    Lefties and libs are all liars.  Never trust a single thing any of them say.   Their worldview is based on discounting reality thus lying to themselves and others comes naturally.  

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Yeah, lie, cheat, steal.  The end result is justified by whatever means necessary.  The only way Obama got out of college with a degree was by fudging numbers.

    This latest SAT fraud may be part of the fallout from the Kerri Dunn hoax/fraud incident — after which CMC President Gann demanded MORE diversity in the faculty and MORE black undergraduates.  Gann supported psychology Professor Dunn during the hate crime hoax and insurance fraud fallout.  She should be fired as well for her roll in this fiasco.

    The judge in the Dunn case called her a “bald-faced liar” after she continued to deny she vandalized her own car and reported it as a hate crime. Dunn also had prior brushes with the law, including a September 2000 shoplifting arrest in which she is accused of damaging her own shirt and bruising her arm, and then blaming it on an arresting officer.

    Love the judge’s last line: 

    “What Ms. Dunn did is dupe a lot of well-meaning, nice, intelligent college kids and lead them around like a bunch of lemmings.”

    Henry Mudd must be loving this, wherever he is — he was an old scoundrel himself.



    Image #1:  Tell me Gann doesn’t look exactly like Hilary Clinton?  She certainly shares her politics!!

    Image #2: Dunn’s fake hate crime and insurance fraud; two witnesses saw her mark up her own car.

    Image #3: Psychology professor Dunn leading an anti-hate rally, after all five of the CMC colleges were closed down for the day.

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.vdare.com/posts/college-admits-cheating-on-sat

    This doesn’t look like a lot, but note that Claremont McKenna is 9th among liberal arts colleges on the USN&WR list. In other words, it’s right on the bubble of being Top Ten or not Top Ten, which is the kind of thing that means a lot for bragging rights at extended family dinners in San Jose and Seoul. So, every little bit helps. 

  • Anonymous

    Busing was supposed to fix the achievment gap.
    Afro-centric curriculums was going to fix it. 
    More minority teachers was going to fix it.  
    More funding was going to fix it.  (Many urban districts spend MORE per student than suburban districts and still fail)

    Nothing has worked.   They are running out of ideas. 

  • Ano Namouse

    Why fear it? It’s cyclical and natural and long overdue. It became overdue in about 1877, really. I have met at least 100 people in the last 365 days who agree.

  • Anonymous

    Can you imagine having to teach them? All of a sudden you’re scratching your head and wondering why your students appear to be remedial learners who have no clue how to work through an algebra problem or what an adverb is.