16 major U.S. colleges ‘conspired’ to limit financial aid programs for poor students, lawsuit says
Sixteen top U.S. colleges, including some prominent Ivy League schools, have been charged with violating antitrust laws as they jointly decide how much financial help should be offered to potential students.
This litigationA lawsuit was filed in Illinois federal court on Sunday, accusing the universities of behaving like a “Pricing Cartel” By sharing the methods they use to determine financial aid packages.Through this, the lawsuit claims the school “conspiracy” limit from “Supposedly Competitive” institutions, thus “Artificially [inflating]” Enrollment fees for poor students.
Institutions named in the lawsuit include Yale University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The list also includes the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, Rice University and Vanderbilt University, as well as Dartmouth College and Caltech.
describe the institution as “The Gatekeeper of the American Dream”, Five plaintiffs — formerly undergraduates at some of the accused schools — claim more than 170,000 financial aid students were overcharged “At least hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The lawsuit concerns the Better American Schools Act (1994), which allows 28 colleges to have “Demand Blind” Policy – Disregarding Applicants’ Financial Needs in the Admissions Process – Develop a “Consensus Methodology” Determine the student’s ability to pay tuition and other fees.
However, at least nine colleges admit after taking into account their financial situation, violating the “demand-blindness” rule and favoring wealthy students, the lawsuit alleges. Plaintiffs claim this violates antitrust immunity under the 1994 Act.
In addition, they claim that seven other institutions “conspiracy” Work with these nine colleges to reduce financial aid amounts despite allegedly knowing they are not following a need-blind policy. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a court injunction against “egregious” practices, which they say have added a burden to low- and middle-income families.
While most of the accused universities declined to release a statement, some claimed the lawsuit had “There is no merit.” Spokespeople for Yale and Brown defend their schools’ admissions practices and financial aid policies, say “Compliant” with the law. Others said the document was still under review.
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