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Elite universities agree to pay total $104.5M to settle suit alleging plot to limit financial aid

The lawsuit against these elite universities and 12 others colluded as "a price-fixing cartel" in order to "fix" price competition when it came to financial aid.

Published: January 24, 2024 2:27pm

Five prominent U.S. universities have agreed to pay a total $104.5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of price fixing.

Brown University agreed to pay $19.5 million, Columbia and Duke are each paying $24 million, and Yale and Emory are each paying $18.5 million, according to United Press International

The lawsuit was brought forward by eight former students against 17 universities, alleging they colluded as "a price-fixing cartel" to "fix" price competition when it came to financial aid.

It essentially states the schools collectively shared confidential data and information about admissions and financial aid, from which they adopted a methodology, then met regularly to implement the methodology, reducing institutional dollars to students from middle class families.

The schools successfully tried to reduce or eliminate, price competition among its members," the lawsuit read, the suit also states. 

A spokesperson for Yale told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the university did nothing wrong. 

"This settlement contains no admission that Yale did anything wrong but allows the university to avoid the cost and disruption of further litigation and to continue its work in making undergraduate education more affordable for more families," the spokesperson told the outlet.

Other universities that have settled include the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt.  

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