This is an interesting development. Apparently, something about the process may violate antitrust laws.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Justice Department Investigates Early-Decision Admissions

The Justice Department has started an investigation into whether some colleges’ early-decision admissions programs violate federal antitrust laws through agreements among institutions or through the sharing of information about accepted applicants.

Colleges reported receiving letters from the department Thursday and Friday in which the agency told the institutions of the investigation and demanded that certain documents, if they exist, be maintained.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Inside Higher Ed, says the investigation pertains to “a potential agreement between colleges relating to their early decision practices.” In early-decision programs, applicants pledge to enroll at colleges that admit them. The programs have become quite popular with applicants and colleges. Many colleges that are competitive in admissions admit large shares of their classes this way.

The Justice Department letter does not detail what agreement or practices are being investigated. But the letter gives some indication, by outlining the documents that colleges are being required to maintain.