For more than a decade, Emory University has been giving student data to publications such as U-S News and World Report.
Those groups then rank schools across the country and had placed Emory's undergraduate program in a top tier.
But now, the university has come clean about that data, admitting it had overstated the school's test scores, to boost its rankings.
The news of the 12 years of misrepresentation has shocked the student body.
"That's an insanely long time. It's really shocking to find that out, but I think it's really great that the administration let us know,” Samantha Green , an Emory student, said.
The university's top brass said the decision to misrepresent the data was an "intentional" one. It says steps will be taken to ensure future data is reported correctly.
John Latting, the new dean of admissions, raised the red flag in mid-May after noticing some discrepancies.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, since at least 2000, the college used SAT/ACT data for admitted students instead of enrolled students. Emory's senior vice president and general counsel said to the AJC, that it was an "intentional decision" to report wrong data that overstated the school's test scores.
The report of the misinformation also found that Emory "may have" excluded the scores of the bottom 10 percent of students when reporting SAT/ACT scores, GPAs, and other information, reported the AJC.
Two former admission deans and leadership in the Office of Institutional Research who were aware of the misreporting no longer work at Emory. The president of the university declined to provide any additional information about personnel.