Northwestern, University of Chicago accused of allegedly reducing aid to middle, lower class families

Chicago News

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern and the University of Chicago were named in a recent class-action lawsuit, accused of being a part of a network of elite schools reducing financial aid to middle and lower class families.

The prestigious local universities were named with the likes of Yale and Vanderbilt — alleging an illegal conspiracy by overcharging financial aid recipients.

The lawsuit claims the defendants “by their own admission have participated in a price-fixing cartel that is designed to reduce or eliminate financial aid as a locus of competition, and that fact has artificially inflated the net price for students receiving aid.”

The lawsuit alleges the group of 16 universities conspired for almost 20 years to overcharge 170,000 financial aid recipients by at least “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, at least nine of the schools, including Northwestern, have favored wealthy applicants.

“As gatekeepers to the American dream, the schools have put the burden of the overcharges on low – and middle-income families struggling to afford the cost of a university education. We will fight to recover those overcharges for students and their families.,” one of the attorneys representing plaintiffs said.

In response for comment, both Northwestern and the University of Chicago said they do not comment on pending litigation.

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