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Northwestern University, Other Private Universities Settle Financial Aid Lawsuit for $166M

Purple sign that says "Northwestern University" in front of bushes.

Four more private universities have agreed to settle a lawsuit which alleged they violated antitrust laws in determining financial aid amounts for admitted students, according to court documents filed Friday.

Dartmouth College, and Rice, Vanderbilt and Northwestern universities agreed to pay a total of $166 million to settle claims filed in a 2022 class action lawsuit alleging the schools colluded on the amount of financial aid awarded to students, while favoring applicants from wealthier families. The settlement comes after Yale, Columbia, Duke, Brown and Emory agreed to pay a combined $104.5 million to settle their portions of the case last month. In 2022, the University of Chicago agreed to settle for $13.5 million.

The agreement is awaiting preliminary approval from a federal judge. If approved, the total settlement amount in this case will now be $284 million.


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