Yale lawyers filed two motions Friday to dismiss the antitrust case against the 568 Presidents Group, a group of elite universities who were accused of colluding to keep financial aid awards down, affecting thousands of potential recipients of said aid.
The 568 Presidents Group consists of 17 selective universities that share financial aid formulas. In January, several alumni of these universities sued members of the group, alleging that nine of the schools practice need-aware admissions and thus have violated section 568 of 1994’s Improving America’s Schools Act.
The act, passed during the first Clinton administration as part of a push to expand access to higher education, allows financial aid collaboration only if universities do not consider monetary needs in admissions. An amended complaint filed in February accused all of the defendants — including Yale — of examining needs, and added Johns Hopkins University as the 17th defendant.
Yale signed onto a joint motion to dismiss the suit that argues on behalf of all 17 defendants in the case. The University also submitted an individual motion to dismiss, which said that because Yale has not used the 568 Presidents Group’s method of calculating financial aid in the last 14 years, any lawsuit against Yale should be dismissed. Both documents were filed on April 15.
“Plaintiffs do not — and cannot consistent with Rule 11 — allege that Yale follows the Consensus Methodology in determining a student’s need for financial aid,” Yale’s motion reads.
When asked for a statement, University spokesperson Karen Peart told the News to refer to the filing, which “speaks for itself.” Previously, Peart said that Yale’s financial aid practices are “100% compliant” with U.S. law.
Yale joined the 568 Presidents Group in 2003 before leaving in 2007 and signing on again in 2018. The motion claims Yale did not begin employing the consensus approach at this point, despite its renewed membership in the consortium.
Yale’s motion said that the University stopped following the group’s consensus methodology in “2008 or 2009.” Because the Clayton Act — a statute of antitrust law used in the case — has a four-year statute of limitations, Yale argued, the University cannot be sued for any antitrust violation.
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