Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement, Eligibility, Amount, Claim Form, Deadline 

Prestigious universities settle a significant financial aid antitrust lawsuit, accused of collusion in limiting aid for working- and middle-class families. Settlements include Dartmouth, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt, totaling $132 million.

Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement

In recent developments, several prestigious universities have settled a significant financial aid antitrust lawsuit, shedding light on alleged collusion impacting student financial aid packages. 

The lawsuit, involving 17 universities, accused them of conspiring to limit financial aid for students from working- and middle-class families.  Notable settlements include Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, and Vanderbilt University, collectively amounting to $132 million.

Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement Eligibility 

To be eligible for a settlement payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at one of the defendant universities during the Class Period defined below.
  • Have received at least some need-based financial aid from one of the defendant universities.
  • Have had remaining out-of-pocket costs (tuition, fees, room, and board) after applying all financial aid and merit aid (excluding loans) for at least one undergraduate year.
  • The Class Period varies depending on the university you attended:
  • Fall Term 2003 through February 28, 2024: Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn, Rice, Vanderbilt, Yale.
  • Brown, Dartmouth, Emory: Fall Term 2004 through February 28, 2024.
  • CalTech: Fall Term 2019 to February 28, 2024.
  • Johns Hopkins: Fall Term 2021 through February 28, 2024.
  • You are not eligible for a settlement payment if you are:An officer or trustee of one of the defendant universities.
  • A current or former employee holding specific positions in financial aid, admissions, dean’s offices, or legal offices at the defendant universities.
  • The judge presiding over the case, their law clerks, or close relatives.

How to File a Claim in the Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement?

The steps to file a claim, assuming the court approves the settlements:

  • Keep an eye on the Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement website at and the Claims Administrator hotline (1-833-585-3338) for updates.
  • Wait for the official announcement that the court has approved the settlements.
  • Once approved, the Claim Form will be available through various channels:
    • Settlement Website: The form will be downloadable from the Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement website.
    • Phone: You can request a form by calling the toll-free number (1-833-585-3338).
    • Mail: If the Claims Administrator has your current address, they may mail you a claim form.
  • You will have the option to submit your claim electronically through the website or by email (specific email address will be provided when the claim form is available).

Financial Aid Antitrust Settlement Accusations & Settlement 

The financial aid antitrust case involved accusations of collusion among prestigious universities regarding financial aid practices:


  • Universities allegedly considered a student’s financial background when awarding financial aid, despite “need-blind” admissions policies.
  • This potentially gave wealthier students an unfair advantage, reducing financial aid for lower-income students.


  • Ten out of seventeen universities reached settlements totaling $284 million.
    • This doesn’t necessarily mean they admitted wrongdoing.
  • Funds will be distributed to students who:
    • Received need-based financial aid during the Class Period (varies by university).
    • Still had out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees, room, and board.
  • A court-appointed administrator handles eligibility and distribution.
  • The settlements are financial remedies, not necessarily a correction of underlying practices.
  • Seven universities remain in the lawsuit. The outcome of these cases may determine future changes.

Financial Aid Antitrust Lawsuit Settlement Amount 

The financial aid antitrust lawsuit resulted in a significant settlement, but it’s important to understand the details:

  • Total Settlement Amount: $284 million

Ten out of the seventeen universities named in the lawsuit reached settlements.

  • Brown University:  $19.5 million
  • University of Chicago: $13.5 million
  • Columbia University: $24 million
  • Dartmouth College: $33.75 million
  • Duke University: $24 million
  • Emory University: $18.5 million
  • Northwestern University: $43.5 million
  • Vanderbilt University: $33.75 million
  • William Marsh Rice University: $33.75 million
  • Yale University: $18.5 million

The settlements are intended to provide financial relief to students who meet specific eligibility criteria.

These students must have:

  • Received need-based financial aid during a designated Class Period (which varies by university).
  • Still had out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees, room, and board after applying all financial aid and merit aid (excluding loans).

To Get Relevant Information. Go to NCBLPC Homepage.

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