Brown is one of 16 U.S. universities sued in Federal Court for alleged violations of antitrust laws

Monday, January 10, 2022

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Federal lawsuit filed against Brown University and 15 other universities for alleged violations of antitrust laws

More specifically, five former students allege that the universities have agreed to determine the financial aid granted to the students.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that “lawsuits filed in Illinois federal court late Sunday by law firms representing five former students who attended some of the schools, universities engaged in pricing and a unfairly limited help by using a common methodology to calculate applicants ‘financial need. Schools are permitted under federal law to collaborate on their formulas, but only if they do not take applicants’ financial needs into account in decision-making. The lawsuit alleges that these schools assess applicants’ ability to pay under certain circumstances and therefore should not be eligible for the antitrust exemption. “


The lawsuit seeks damages and the definitive end of the collusion of schools in the calculation of financial needs and the granting of aid.

Brown University did not respond to the request for comment at the time of posting.

Amherst College said in October it would stop giving an advantage to applicants whose parents attended school, placing it among the first elite schools to abandon inherited preferences. And in part because the pandemic has made it difficult For students to take the ACT and SAT, thousands of colleges have switched to an optional testing policy for recent and current applicants. Hundreds of these schools have since extended the offer for at least a few years, “writes the WSJ.

Besides Brown, Yale, Georgetown, Northwestern, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University and Vanderbilt University.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys told the WSJ that more than 170,000 former undergraduates who received partial financial aid at these schools dating back 18 years may be eligible to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

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