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ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15 - and we just got a STARRED REVIEW from Booklist! Pre-order your copy today and find out why Booklist says Cramm This Book is “insightful, balanced, and nuanced [with a] final message [that] is a direct challenge to readers: now that you understand these problems, are you going to do something about them?”


THE HIGHLIGHTS

A new lawsuit is accusing top colleges of participating in a price-fixing cartel. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Under federal antitrust law, colleges are allowed to collaborate on financial aid formulas as long as they don’t look at a student's ability to pay in the admissions process (aka “need blind”). Enter: the 568 Presidents Group, which is an organization that uses a particular methodology for calculating financial need. 16 colleges are members. Think: Brown, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Georgetown, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice, Vanderbilt and Yale. Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, a new lawsuit pointed fingers at those colleges for conspiring to cut the financial aid they give to admitted students. The lawsuit claims the 568 Presidents Group is essentially a price-fixing cartel. You read that right. 

 

THE DEETS. 

The lawsuit alleges that 9 of those 16 colleges figured out ways to consider some applicants’ ability to pay - meaning the 568 Presidents Group isn’t actually need blind. See: some schools look at the financial needs of wait-listed applicants, while others give “special treatment” to the kids of wealthy donors. The result? The colleges overcharged an estimated 170,000 students who were eligible for aid. 

 

THE TAKE. 

This marks yet another scandal for elite colleges. TBD on the outcome. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Covid hospitalizations in the US have hit a new high. More than 145,000 people are in hospitals with coronavirus as of today - surpassing the previous peak from January 2021. Meanwhile, United Airlines says that 3,000 workers are infected with coronavirus. This comes after thousands of flights were canceled due to coronavirus outbreaks. Also making headlines in the US: up to 8 home covid tests per month will be covered by health insurers starting this weekend. In other news, the World Health Organization says that over half of Europe could be infected with covid in the next two months. And last but not least, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing backlash over reports that more than 100 of his staff were invited to a garden party at his official residence at the height of the 2020 lockdown. 

 

WORLD: The World Bank has some not-so-great news. The organization’s prez is warning that the economy faces a “grim outlook” as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt, especially in low-income countries. Global economic growth is predicted to slow to 4.1 percent, down from 5.5 percent in 2021. In other news, last year saw the hottest ocean temps in recorded history - the 6th consecutive year that this record has been broken. Not a typo. Experts say the human-caused climate crisis is behind the rise in temps. Meanwhile, North Korea just launched its 2nd ballistic missile in a single week. The launch appears to show the country’s progress in developing a hypersonic missile. 

 

PEOPLE: ICYMI, since the 2020 US presidential election, many states have intro’d dozens of new voting laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote. So today, Prez Biden and Vice Prez Kamala Harris are heading to Georgia to give a major speech on voting rights. Only a slight problem…some voting rights advocates are skipping the speech, saying, “We don’t need even more photo ops. We need action.” Stay tuned. Meanwhile, David Sassoli has passed away at the age of 65. Sassoli was a well-known journalist in Italy before going into politics, eventually becoming the prez of the European Parliament. His cause of death is still unknown, but he had been in poor health for months. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Maya Angelou:” who just became the first Black woman to appear on the US quarter. 


SAY WHAT?

“Two Los Angeles officers fired for ignoring robbery to play Pokémon Go” - an actual headline

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The Cramm · The Cramm · Santa Barbara, CA 93101 · USA