The issue was much debated, but the Ivy League colleges and MIT eventually agreed to end the practice
The plaintiffs in a class action antitrust lawsuit against 16 private colleges and universities over their admissions policies have expanded their lawsuit to add Johns Hopkins University. The plaintiffs are also making new arguments in their complaint about the endowments of the colleges involved, suggesting that they are so wealthy that they could help low-income students without allegedly colluding on their policies.
The suit was filed last month against 16 private colleges and universities, charging them with running a “cartel” and violating antitrust laws in the way they calculate aid awards, thus forcing thousands of students to pay more than they should have to in order to enroll. The suit was filed by five recent graduates but seeks to be certified as a class action on behalf of thousands of additional students.
The original targets of the suit are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Georgetown, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt and Yale Universities; the California Institute of Technology; Dartmouth College; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the Universities of Chicago, Notre Dame and Pennsylvania.
The colleges are members of the 568 Group, which consists of 21 colleges and universities that have a federal exemption from antitrust laws in developing and using a common methodology to award need-based aid. The exemption was created by Congress after the Ivy League colleges and MIT were charged by the Justice Department with price-fixing because they consulted one another on the aid to be given to students admitted to more than one institution.
In 1991, all eight members of the Ivy League and MIT were charged with price-fixing. The way it worked was that representatives from the colleges would meet to discuss their anticipated aid offers for students who had been admitted to more than one college. Read more “The issue was much debated, but the Ivy League colleges and MIT eventually agreed to end the practice”