Justice Dept. questioning early admission programs at Amherst and other colleges

Hampshire County

The Justice Department has launched an investigation into the practices of Amherst College and other colleges across the country. 

The federal government is looking into early decision admissions programs, to see if it violates federal antitrust laws.

The Justice Department wants to know the agreement between colleges and universities and how much information they share when it comes to early decision practices. That’s when an applicant pledges to enroll at a college that admits them. 

The Justice Department wants to know if colleges are sharing information as a way to force early-decision applicants to not back out after agreeing to attend an institution.

“It could be looked at upon the schools working together, (almost in collusion) that if a student backs out of an early commitment to one college, is that going to be looked upon by another college, that they’re going to get that information and potentially not accept that student,” said Attorney James Winston, Northampton.

In a letter sent to several colleges, the feds are requesting colleges maintain any records shared between colleges about accepted students.

In a 2016 U.S. News article, Amherst College, said the college and about 30 other colleges share lists of students admitted through early decision. 

22News contacted Amherst College for comment, were still waiting. 

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