Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

55° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern to pay $43.5 million in settlement of financial aid lawsuit

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Daily file photo by Joss Broward
Northwestern is one of 17 elite universities accused of price-fixing.

Northwestern agreed Friday to settle for $43.5 million in a class-action lawsuit against universities accused of considering financial need in admissions that were reportedly “need-blind.” 

The suit alleges that 17 universities engaged in a price-fixing scheme, taking advantage of an antitrust exemption for “need-blind” colleges and universities and driving up the cost of attendance for students on financial aid. 

University spokesperson Jon Yates told The Daily in a statement that NU prioritizes funding financial aid for the more than 60% of undergraduate students who receive it.

“We maintain the University did not commit any wrongdoing and that the plaintiffs’ claims are baseless,” Yates said in the statement. “However, the University has agreed to settle this case — without admitting liability — so that we can put this matter behind us and focus on Northwestern’s global eminence, excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of our students.”

NU joined Dartmouth College, Rice University and Vanderbilt University in the Friday settlement that amounted to $166 million. 

The University of Chicago, Brown University, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, and Yale University have also settled, with payments totaling $118 million. 

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