NAICU Washington Update

House Extends Anti-Trust Protection for Need-Blind Colleges

The anti-trust exemption that allows colleges practicing need-blind admissions to develop common practices for assessing need was approved for a permanent extension by the House of Representatives on April 30. The bill now is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under the House proposal, the provision would be made permanent with no changes to the underlying statute. A similar bill passed the house in 2001, but the Senate ultimately amended it to require a seven-year renewal and a federal study.

The provision is important to a limited set of colleges that both practice need-blind admissions and collaborate on improvements to institutional need analysis. The colleges do not discuss individual applicants, nor does the need analysis system limit other factors participating schools may or may not use (such as athletics or academic merit) in awarding final scholarship packages.

If Congress doesn't act, the anti-trust exemption is set to expire on September 30, 2008.

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