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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

BREAKING: Department of Justice Investigating Early Decision at Carleton, Peer Institutions

<an style="vertical-align: baseline">The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked Carleton to preserve all communication related to its practice of sharing information with peer institutions about students admitted via early decision (ED). In its letter to Carleton, DOJ referenced an ongoing antitrust investigation, but did not charge the college or request information.

“Carleton has indeed received a letter from the DOJ, asking us to preserve all communication related to our practice of sharing lists of ED-deposited students with some other institutions,” Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot told The Carletonian in an email.Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Grinnell, Hamilton, Middlebury, Pomona, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Williams and Tufts have also been in communication with DOJ officials over its antitrust investigation into early decision information-sharing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, an admissions dean at a New England college that also received the DOJ letter said their office shares the application ID number, name and home state of early decision admits with “about 20 other institutions.” In 2016, Amherst College’s admissions dean told U.S. News & World Report that Amherst shares lists of early decision admits with “about 30 other colleges.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) says in its 2016 Statement of Principles of Good Practice that “institutions with Early Decision plans may restrict students from applying to other early plans. Institutions will clearly articulate their specific policies in their Early Decision agreement.”

Last Week, The Carletonian reported that Admissions enrolled about 35 to 40 percent of the Class of 2022 in one of its early decision groups. The justification for the DOJ investigation remains unclear. According to Inside Higher Ed, the DOJ letter asks colleges to retain communications with other colleges that disclose the identities of admitted students, as well as records of decisions made based on information received from other colleges about the identities of admitted students. Inside Higher Ed first reported news of the DOJ investigation on Monday, April 9.

“There is nothing further in the communication beyond the statement that the DOJ is beginning an investigation of possible antitrust violations of such a practice, but there are no formal charges or requests for actual information yet,” Thiboutot added. “We are preserving all pertinent information but nothing else has been asked of us procedurally.”

Please note that this is a developing story. We will continue to update as we receive more information.

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