Rowan University, whose stature would rise dramatically under Governor Christie’s plan to give it control of Rutgers University’s Camden campus, excluded the scores of disadvantaged students in a public document that made its SAT results appear to be a whopping 100 points higher than scores at Rutgers.
The comparable figures for Rutgers in the document, which has been used to help sell the governor’s plan, included those admitted under a state program for poor students.
Without that disparity and an error that has been described as a clerical mistake, the scores for the incoming class of 2010 are 18 points higher at Rutgers-Camden than at Rowan, according to U.S. News & World Report, which received the numbers from Rowan and Rutgers to make its annual evaluation of college quality.
The difference is critical in the perception of the quality of the two institutions as a heated battle over the governor’s sweeping plan to overhaul higher education in the state plays out. In the competitive world of college admissions, even slight increases in SAT scores can propel a school to a higher ranking and make it more desirable to prospective students.