Notre Dame one of 16 institutions sued for alleged price fixing on financial aid
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Notre Dame is among 16 elite American universities being sued for alleged violations of antitrust laws and colluding with other schools to limit students’ financial aid, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The federal lawsuit, filed Sunday in the state of Illinois, states the universities engaged in alleged price fixing and “artificially inflated the net price of attendance for students receiving financial aid.”
The suit was filed by several law firms representing five students filing on behalf of thousands of students affected by the alleged accusations.
The plaintiffs argue that nine of the universities do not qualify under Section 568 of the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 — which protects universities in collaborating on a set of common standards to determine a student’s financial aid package, given that the admissions process is need-blind.
“Far from following this practice, at least nine Defendants for many years have favored wealthy applicants in the admissions process,” the plaintiffs write. “These nine Defendants have thus made admissions decisions with regard to the financial circumstances of students and their families, thereby disfavoring students who need financial aid.”
Notre Dame is one of the nine universities accused, with the plaintiffs alleging these universities favor children of wealthy past and present donors.
The suit alleges over 170,000 students have been overcharged for tuition as a result of the allegation. The students would also be eligible to join the suit as plaintiffs.
University spokesperson Dennis Brown said the University has no comment at this time regarding the pending litigation.