On Friday, Penn and other elite universities filed a motion to dismiss the antitrust case which accused them of considering financial need in the college admissions process, with Yale University filing an individual motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Yale argued that they have used a different method for calculating financial aid than the other accused schools for the past 14 years, The Yale Daily News reported. The antitrust lawsuit, which was filed in January, accused 16 other selective universities — including Penn — of practicing need-aware admissions.
The lawsuit represents five alumni from these schools who allege that the universities violated the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, which allows for financial aid collaboration between schools only if the schools are need-blind.
The case targets the 568 Presidents Group, a group of 17 top universities — including Ivy League universities like Penn, Yale, and Columbia University — which share financial aid formulas.
Yale’s financial aid methods are “100% compliant” with federal law, said Yale spokesperson Karen Peart. Peart said that the court filing “speaks for itself” when asked for comment, reported the Yale Daily News.
The lawsuit in January stated that the universities colluded to increase tuition costs by collaboratively calculating financial need. Prosecutors allege that this impacted over 170,000 aid-eligible students, shortchanging them hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition.
The lawsuit also claims that the universities — including Penn — evaluated waitlist applicants’ financial status and gave preference to the children of wealthy families with donation histories. In 2009, former Penn admissions officer Karen Crowley stated that “admissions officers give preference to 'full-paying student[s]' on the waitlist over those who need financial aid.”