Can students also sue over excessive fees?

The New York Times reports.

Employees Sue Four More Universities Over Retirement Plan Fees

More leading universities have been sued on claims that their retirement plans charged employees excessive fees, following a series of similar suits filed earlier this week.

In the latest round, complaints were filed in various federal courts on behalf of employees at Duke, Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt. The earlier lawsuits were filed against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Yale on Tuesday. All of the complaints seek class-action status.

Jerome J. Schlichter, a lawyer well known for his pioneering litigation in the world of 401(k) retirement plans, is representing the plaintiffs. But with these suits, the spotlight has shifted to a more obscure corner of the retirement savings market, 403(b) plans, which are similar to 401(k) plans but are typically offered by public schools and nonprofit institutions like universities and hospitals.

All of the suits, including the latest four, share similar overarching themes: The universities all used more than one provider, known as a record keeper, to operate their plans and perform the administrative services to keep them running. Had they consolidated to one provider, the plaintiffs claim, they could have used their bargaining power to negotiate much lower fees. Instead, the suits allege, the plans overpaid millions of dollars each year.