Three Ivy League universities, along with several other top-tier U.S. schools, have agreed to settle a case brought by a group alleging the institutions conspired to collectively consider how much financial aid to offer to students, allegedly favoring wealthier ones.
The largest settlements were agreed to by Columbia University and Duke University, at $24 million each. Alongside Brown, Yale and Emory universities, and a prior settlement by the University of Chicago and a pending one with Vanderbilt University, a total of $118 million would be collected for the plaintiffs group suing the institutions.
The plaintiffs allege that the schools, and others targeted by the suit, have violated a statute barring them from considering students’ finances when they agreed in 2003 to a common set of standards to guide admissions decisions. While the schools were supposed to be ‘need blind’ in order to adhere to the statute, any attempt to consider a student’s financial-aid needs represents a de facto violation of that statute, the suit alleges.
The schools have denied wrongdoing, but have agreed to the settlements in exchange for having the case dismissed. The settlements must still be approved by a federal district judge.
The complaint alleges that more than 200,000 students would likely have been affected by the agreement, which they say served to artificially inflate net tuition prices.
More information about the suit and settlement can be found at https://568cartel.com/.