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Justice Department Increased College Competition

College Admissions

Last month, the Justice Department ruled to remove three provisions in the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP) that the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) enforces based on antitrust violations. Even before the ruling was decided, NACAC struck those three provisions from CEPP.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division felt that these three provisions below were causing unjust, anti-competition in the college admissions process:

  1. Schools should not offer incentives, like prime housing, to persuade students to apply early decision.
  2. Colleges should not knowingly recruit or offer enrollment incentives to students who are already enrolled, registered or have submitted their deposits to other institutions.
  3. Members must not initiate contact with students to lure them into transferring.

Now that these provisions have been removed, what does this mean?

It means the following:

  • Colleges will be allowed to incentivize applying early decision so students may get some additional benefits
  • Colleges can offer financial aid packages or other benefits to convince students to transfer or leave their school

Many believe this will only help those who are affluent and can afford to apply early decision because colleges will want to fill their rosters with people who can pay full tuition. However, if the student is talented but cannot afford going there, schools are free now to offer some incentives that could help families make a decision.

I think this will possibly mean more options for students to weigh and from a college standpoint, there will be less certainty on who will be attending if another college can poach a student after enrollment.

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