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A graduate, two professors and two students are suing Cooper Union to try to keep it tuition-free. The petitioners, members of the Committee to Save Cooper Union, accuse the New York City college’s administrators and trustees of squandering money and missing opportunities to avoid charging tuition. The lawsuit, filed in state court, asks the court to prevent the college from charging tuition and to appoint a special master to investigate the institution’s finances.

A college spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Cooper Union administrators were disappointed the activists chose a costly lawsuit over "constructive conversation."