Several of the nation's largest and most prestigious universities are the target of a new spate of lawsuits alleging employees paid unreasonable and excessive fees under their retirement plans, resulting in their losing huge chunks of savings.

The focus on the big names is likely only the beginning. Experts predict a glut of similar suits to follow against colleges and universities large and small.

"The problems are exactly the same -- in fact, the problems are probably more prevalent when you get to the smaller institutions, because they haven't necessarily dedicated the same resources," said Brian Pinheiro, a Philadelphia lawyer who is a practice leader in Ballard Spahr LLP's employee benefits and executive compensation group. "The dollars might be smaller, but the issues are the same."