🎓 Undergraduate, Overcharged?
Some of America's top universities are finding themselves in scandal again, this time with a price fixing scheme. A lawsuit filed in federal court by five former undergraduates alleges that 16 colleges and universities had conspired to reduce the financial aid they award students by working together as a cartel;
Among the 16 universities named in the lawsuit are Yale, Cal Tech, MIT, Vanderbilt, and the University of Chicago, which all participated in a group calling itself the 568 Presidents Group and used a consensus approach when evaluating a student's ability to pay.
According to the New York Times, Universities are allowed to collaborate on financial aid formulas under federal antitrust law, however, only if they do not consider a student’s ability to pay in the admissions process, a status called “need blind.”
While Yale, Georgetown, and other universities are embroiled in this admissions scandal, Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will soon be in front of the Supreme Court for cases regarding their affirmative action admissions. Should the plaintiffs win, the Supreme Court may strike down the use of affirmative action across the country.
Following the 2019 Varsity Blues scandal which showed that wealthy families could effectively pay their way into elite universities, this new lawsuit seems to further the idea that these institutions favor students who can pay higher tuition with less financial aid. If college has been touted for generations as a path to the American Dream—scandal after scandal is chipping away at that story