Big-name universities resolve financial aid lawsuit with ease.

February 25, 2024
1 min read


  • Four private universities settled a lawsuit alleging violations of antitrust laws in determining financial aid amounts.
  • The total settlement amount will be $284 million if approved by a federal judge.

Four private universities, including Dartmouth, Northwestern, Rice, and Vanderbilt, have agreed to pay a total of $166 million to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of antitrust laws in determining financial aid amounts for admitted students. This settlement follows previous agreements by other universities, bringing the total settlement amount in the case to $284 million pending approval from a federal judge. The lawsuit claimed that these universities colluded on the amount of financial aid awarded to students and favored applicants from wealthier families.

While the universities maintain that they did not commit any wrongdoing, they have chosen to settle the case to focus on their missions of providing education and promoting student growth. The pressure for settlements has increased over time, with each university settling for significant amounts ranging from $33.75 million to $55 million.

The remaining elite universities have yet to settle, including the University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Caltech. The attorneys representing the former students are hopeful that these universities will also rectify the overcharges to their alumni and students from working-class backgrounds.

This case sheds light on the importance of fair financial aid practices in higher education and the impact it has on students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The settlements highlight a push for transparency and accountability among elite universities when it comes to determining financial aid for their students.

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