Attorney calls Notre Dame, other universities, "gatekeepers to the American Dream"
An attorney representing plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame and 15 other institutions, calls them "gatekeepers to the American Dream".
As ABC57 reported, five plaintiffs accuse the sixteen elite universities of favoring wealthy students when evaluating admissions applications. The result, the lawsuit alleges, is higher cost of tuition and less opportunity for applicants relying on financial aid.
"These defendant universities have unlawfully agreed to suppress financial aid awarded to admitted students. 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," said Elizabeth Fegan of the Chicago-based law firm FeganScott, in a statement emailed to ABC57.
While none of the named plaintiffs attended the University of Notre Dame, the lawsuit alleges, "Dartmouth and Notre Dame engage in need-aware admissions through 'enrollment management'... One of the key purposes of enrollment management is to limit the number of financial-aid-eligible applicants who are admitted to the institution to achieve financial and budgetary objectives. The effect of these practices is to disadvantage applicants based on their need for institutional financial aid."
The four law firms behind the antitrust suit, filed Sunday, estimate 170,000 students may have overpaid for tuition. They're asking for students (or parents of students) who began attending any of these institutions after 2003, and received a grant from any one of the universities, to contact CollegeFinancialAid@bm.net for more information.
The University of Notre Dame had no comment on the pending litigation, when contacted by ABC57.
The 16 defendants in this case are:
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA