SOUTH BEND, Ind.–The University of Notre Dame is being sued, accused of elitism and price fixing to include fewer people who require financial aid to pay for college. The university is a defendant is a class-action suit that also includes Dartmouth, Georgetown, Columbia, Duke and 11 other schools traditionally considered “important”.
“These elite institutions occupy a place of privilege and importance in American society. And yet these same 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,” reads the lawsuit.
It says the the university maintains “admissions systems that favor the children of wealthy past or potential future donors”.
“Under a true need-blind admissions system, all students would be admitted without regard to the financial circumstances
of the student or student’s family. Far from following this practice, at least nine Defendants for many years have favored wealthy applicants in the admissions process,” read the suit.
Notre Dame has not commented publicly on the suit.
“Notre Dame’s undergraduate student body is generally wealthy and privileged,” read the suit. “The median family income of undergraduates is $191,400; 15 percent of undergraduates come from the top 1% of the income distribution, and 75 percent come from the top 20 percent; and only 1.6 percent come from the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution. Notre Dame has an endowment of approximately $12 billion.”
The plaintiffs are asking the courts to prevent the schools, which the suit collectively refers to as “The Cartel”, from continuing the practice and to compensate lower income people (and the familes or people who paid) who attended, got financial aid and made up the rest.