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US: Department of Justice probes Admissions Ethics Code

 |  January 10, 2018

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation into whether the ethics code of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) violates federal antitrust law.

The DOJ has sent information requests to NACAC and to professionals from various schools and colleges who were involved in drafting the new version of the ethics code, which was adopted last year.

The letter from the department, a copy of which was obtained by Inside Higher Ed, states that the investigation pertains to a possible agreement “to restrain trade among colleges and universities in the recruitment of students.”

The Justice Department is seeking copies of all documents related to drafting the new version of the ethics code, known as the Statement of Principles of Good Practice.

The request covers “documents discussing the inclusion, drafting, enactment, enforcement of or justifications for any section.”

The statement covers a wide range of issues, generally seen as encouraging ethical conduct by colleges and high schools in the admissions process. The statement encourages transparent policies and has many rules that are seen as protecting students. For instance, the policy states that colleges should not use the lure of good housing assignments to force students to respond instantly to admissions offers.

Some of those policies, however, do limit college actions—and admissions experts fear that may be what the department is going after.

Full Content: The Chronicle of Higher Education

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