Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fifth Tier Charlotte School of Law Will Start Receiving Federal Loans for Fall Semester


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article164627677.html

TTTT News: On July 31, 2017, the Charlotte Observer published a Michael Gordon piece entitled “Federal loans set to return to struggling Charlotte School of Law.” Look at this portion:

“Charlotte School of Law’s high-stakes gamble on the Trump administration appears to have paid off, with the school announcing it is close to an agreement with the government that would restore vital student-loan money to the beleaguered school. 

The resumption of the federal loans, the school says, would be effective with the fall semester, scheduled to begin Aug. 28. 

If true, the loans will restore millions of dollars students can use for tuition and expenses that were cut off for most of the past academic year. The Department of Education cited the for-profit law school’s chronic failings with test scores, curriculum and admission standards when it made Charlotte Law the first accredited law school ever to be cut off from the student-loan program. 

The loss of the money last year set off faculty layoffs and hundreds of student transfers. Many of the students who stayed had no way to pay for school and rent, leading faculty members to set up an emergency food bank. 

Law school President Chidi Ogene accused the Department of Education of making a political decision that gave the school and its students very little time to respond. He said at the time that Charlotte Law hoped to get a more favorable hearing when the Trump administration took office. That speculation only grew when President Donald Trump picked Betsy DeVos, a vocal supporter of for-profit schools, as secretary of education.

According to the blog Above the Law, Charlotte Law also paid $50,000 to the Podesta Group to lobby government officials on the school’s behalf.

The decision to appeal now appears to have been a sound one. Charlotte Law’s recent press release said it “has been notified by the U.S. Department of Education that it is prepared to reinstate the school’s ability to award (student loans).” 

The money will be made available under certain conditions being ironed out between the school and the federal government, conditions the school says it is willing to abide by but which it would not detail when asked by the Observer.” [Emphasis mine]

This school is operated by Chicago-based equity firm Sterling Capital Partners. It is rated as a fifth tier in$TTTTTiTTTTTuTTTTTion of “higher learning.” In the parlance of US “News” & World Report, it is listed as “Unranked.” Full-time tuition and fees amounted to $44,284, for the 2016-2017 academic year. What a great bargain, huh?! That is the equivalent of paying $28K for a 1986 Buick LeSabre with 317,000 miles on the odometer.

https://www.charlotteagenda.com/95597/charlotte-school-law-intends-stay-open-fall-deadlines-loom/

Prior Coverage: On July 5, 2017, the Charlotte Agenda featured an article from Jane Little, under the headline “Charlotte School of Law intends to stay open in the fall, but deadlines loom.” Take a look at this opening:

“Six months after a damning report from the American Bar Association, Charlotte’s only law school has become a shell of its former self. 

The for-profit Charlotte School of Law has been forced to stop accepting new students, and the faculty count has been reduced by about 70 percent. Only about 100 students remain enrolled, down from about 750.

But it’s still limping along. Summer school is currently underway, and fall classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 28.

Still, there are a slew of upcoming deadlines and requirements the school must meet before its fate is determined.

“It’s heartbreaking what’s happening because there’s a lot of people who put a lot into this law school and a lot of people who are displaced and had their lives turned around,” said Daniel Herrera, who recently took a leave of absence from the school. 

What’s next for Charlotte School of Law?

All indications are that Charlotte School of Law is fighting to be able to graduate the students currently enrolled. But there are several regulatory hurdles it faces to even be able to do that. 

On June 21, the UNC Board of Governors gave Charlotte School of Law a deadline: The school has until August 1 to prove that it’s financially stable or it could lose its license to operate in North Carolina. The board also ruled that the school must come up with an ABA approved “teach-out” plan by Aug. 10 to graduate its remaining students. A teach-out plan is a contingency that helps students complete their program at other campuses if theirs closes.” [Emphasis mine]

$omehow, this agreement came just in time for it to show that it is financially stable. Does anyone think that these “legal scholars” will have trouble putting together a contingency teach-out plan, in the next week or so?

Conclusion: In the final analysis, this fifth tier cesspool has some other obstacles to overcome. However, the school has achieved its biggest objective. After all, the spigot of student loan money is the lifeblood of the “higher education” industry. How many pupils have more than $40K laying around in their couch? Plus, that is only for one year of tuition. Sadly, more lemmings will continue to enroll in this place – so long as the school can show that it is solvent. Now juxtapose that with the typical CharloTTTTTe $chool of Law graduate, who simply hopes to find a legal job making $50K – while being saddled down with $160K in non-dischargeable debt.

24 comments:

  1. Let the current classes graduate with a worthless degree and shut this scam school down. The ABA has zero ethical integrity.

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  2. I really think these places are just about unkillable as the rotten core contains about 5-10 grossly overpaid swine that stop at nothing to preserve the scam.

    Limiting the Scope of the Scam is still a worthy pursuit, however, and it's important to keep bringing pressure to bear.

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  3. Nice! We would like to hope being a member of the AAMPLE team played a contributing factor in helping this school rebound. Not fare to shut doors on aspiring lawyers.

    Legal education should not be for the rich only.

    Do not let student debt stand in the way of being all you can be!

    Law is still a good option with fincial solutions to help you:

    IBR - makes loan repayment easy

    Gov. Loans forgiven after about 20 years.

    Instant credibility, and among the top 10% of our educated society. (Doctorate level education).

    For all those that did not know JD is Latin for doctorate of law.

    FYI..,.

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    1. No, it isn't: JD (juris doctor) is Latin for teacher of law.

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    2. 12:45 is a tiresome and vacuous shill who should be ashamed of encouraging hapless lemmings to attend one of these toilets.

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  4. The photo of pouring cash down the toilet is apt.

    Toilet school Harlotte is on the way out. Maybe it will be allowed to go on for two more years so that the existing lemmings can get their worthless degrees, but that will be all.

    And Harlotte may run at a loss. Even if it collects full fare from each lemming (with the government providing most of the cash), it will have only $4 million or so with which to cover payroll, rent, and all other expenses. Services will be cut to the bone (don't expect much in the way of career counseling or interlibrary loans from New Zealand), yet the toilet may still run in the red—and losing money isn't part of InfiLaw's business plan.

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  5. I guess it doesn't matter. I'd be surprised if 1/4 of student debtors don't just walk away from their loans. And I mean of all the student debtors. Except that as it stands now they face garnishment if they do that.

    My nephew is starting a welding certificate program at the community college. Good for him. He'll be making good money and the cost of his education will be under $10,000. He'll be living at home. How many are sunk with $150K or more for worthless JDs? Thing is they'd probably look down on my nephew since he'll be "working with his hands." (As if he's not using his mind.) At least he'll be able to put food on the table and be self sufficient.

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    1. "At least he'll be able to put food on the table and be self sufficient."

      Plus he can make the table. :-)

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  6. ....and the scam rolls on.

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  7. I was going to say "unbelievable," but at this point, it's completely believable.

    It's not enough to scam students, now the skools are scamming the federal government. And from what I have seen, it's not like federal agencies do a good job of minding the store in the first place, so of course they are going to let the loans gush. Why take any responsibility, just rubber-stamp and move on. Why make a decision? We'll have to pin our hopes on the state agencies, the ones who actually have to live with the fall-out if Charlotte is allowed to continue.

    When it fails, the feds will point and say "it wasn't our fault, it was Charlotte!" CYA and plausible deniability all the way, baby, as it takes actual stones for someone to make a decision and tell someone "No."

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  8. After everything that has gone down at Charlotte School of Law, how can anyone be willing to study there? P. T. Barnum was right...

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  9. http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/08/02/devos-offers-lifeline-for-profit-law-school-that-hired-her-former-adviser/ZGk8xo1MmtFJT765yW2oHI/story.html

    On August 2, 2017, the Boston Globe featured an article from Shahien Nasiripour, under the header “DeVos offers a lifeline to for-profit law school that hired her former adviser.” Look at this excerpt:

    “Early this year, Charlotte School of Law looked ready to collapse. The government had cut off the private equity-backed, for-profit law school’s access to federal student loans, determining in a review that it had violated federal law and misled students, allegations the school denied. But for a school that more than nine in 10 students borrow money to attend, the decision had the ring of a death knell.

    Until Donald Trump took office.

    One day before Betsy DeVos was confirmed as secretary of education, Charlotte Law hired the adviser who had just steered her through her confirmation hearings to lobby her agency on its behalf. Lauren Maddox, a lobbyist with the Podesta Group in Washington and a former Education Department spokeswoman, has worked for senior Republicans in Congress.

    But in lobbying for Charlotte Law, she and her colleagues would appear to have a tougher task: Charlotte graduates are leaving school owing more than three times as much on their loans as they wind up earning every year. Fewer than half pass the bar in their first try.

    Some $130,000 in fees later, the lobbying effort appears to have paid off. Last week, according to a copy of official correspondence reviewed by Bloomberg News, DeVos’s agency told the law school that—provided it puts up $6 million in collateral and agrees to certain conditions, such as offering refunds to first-years and hiring a monitor, it would consider reinstating its access to the federal student-aid program.

    Such a move could bring in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue for the school, federal data suggest, if the state of North Carolina reverses its June ban on enrolling new students and lets the school start recruiting them. The resumption of federal student-aid cash could boost the school’s case before the state, which has questioned Charlotte Law’s finances and whether the school can stay in business for at least three years.

    “The dream for for-profit colleges is unfettered access to federal money,” said Clare McCann, deputy director for federal higher-education policy at the Washington-based policy organization New America and a former Education Department official in the Obama administration. The agency under DeVos, she said, seems to be relaxing the Obama-era policies that for-profit colleges had said disproportionately affected them, handing a “huge win” to Charlotte Law.

    The typical Charlotte Law graduate leaves school owing $167,000—nearly the cost of the typical Charlotte-area home—and making $49,000 a year. More of its 2016 grads were unemployed and looking for work than were employed in full-time, long-term jobs that required them to have passed the bar, according to an April disclosure. Its recent grads pass the bar at a rate nearly 20 percent lower than the statewide average.”

    What a great way to spend taxpayer funds, right?! Then again, anyone foolish enough to enroll in this TTTTT program has chosen to ignore reams of data showing that attending such a rathole is a terrible bet.

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  10. Hate to admit it, but this is one point-of-policy that the Trump administration did worse than Obama.
    Betsy, who Jeb Bush gushed over when Trump appointed her, is the usual uneducated one-percenter whose charity is the destruction of K-12 and for profit education.

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  11. Rich kids don't really need the academic credential. They just get it 'cause it's a rite of passage. And then they can have something to talk about with their rich friends. At cocktail parties, country clubs, and such.

    One day I was stuck in traffic and I happened to look over at the public high school's parking lot. The student lot was filled with luxury cars. I couldn't see more than maybe 2-3 older crappy cars. Saw a bunch of Audis, high end SUVs. I saw a Lincoln town car. Several newish BMWs and Land Rovers.

    At the time I was a licensed attorney of almost 10 years. And I was driving a 12 year old car that would've been one of the few older crappy cars in that high school student parking. And a public school no less. You see, my mistake was coming out of the wrong birth canal. So I had to take out loans to go to good schools. Made connections with working class people, since I don't identify with rich people. And rich people don't wanna hang out with some loser making $50K a year. But yeah. Go all out and get a law degree from a no name school.

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    1. My first car was a chevy corsica with no paint on it. It had been purchased used for my sister years earlier. Then my mom got a new car, my sister got her old car, and I got my sister's old car. It was a POS but I felt lucky as hell to get it.

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    2. In NYC and the five boroughs you don't need a car.

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  12. There is a new book on the subject of scam for-profit law schools:

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/08/law-mart-justice-access-and-for-profit-law-schools.html

    "Tejani reveals how for-profit law schools marketed themselves directly to ethnoracial and socioeconomic "minority" communities, relaxed admission standards, increased diversity, shook up established curricula, and saw student success rates plummet. They contributed to a dramatic rise in U.S. law student debt burdens while charging premium tuition financed up-front through federal loans over time."

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  13. https://www.charlotteagenda.com/99706/charlotte-school-law-must-offer-refunds-first-year-students-deal-regain-federal-student-loan-funding/

    On August 3, 2017, the Charlotte Agenda published a Jane Little article entitled “Charlotte School of Law must offer refunds to first-year students in deal to regain federal student loan funding.” Enjoy this portion:

    “Charlotte School of Law could once again become eligible to receive federal student loans — a crucial tool students use to pay their tuition — but must first offer newer students a refund.

    The for-profit law school must also secure a line of credit that would put the school on solid financial footing if it has to wind down operations, according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Education to Charlotte School of Law president Chidi Ogene,which was published by the ABA Journal.

    The potential deal is the first major ray of hope for the law school, whose future was thrown into doubt last fall when it was put on probation by the American Bar Association for admitting unqualified students. A month later, the federal government stripped it of the ability to receive student loans.

    Charlotte School of Law officials called the potential deal “good news” and said they were “excited at the prospect of being able to help our students complete their legal education,” according to a statement on the school’s website.

    It’s still unclear whether Charlotte School of Law hopes to remain open long-term or if the focus is solely on helping current students graduate.

    The deal with the U.S. Department of Education indicates it could go either way.

    To regain the federal student loan funding, the school must give students who have not yet completed two semesters the option to receive a full refund. This refund could be in the form of federal or private loan repayment, or the return of any money paid directly by the student.

    The conditions also state that CSL must have a $6 million letter of credit, which would be used to pay for refunds to current and former students, finance a “teach out” plan to graduate remaining students, and pay any fines.

    Charlotte School of Law is still unable to accept new students, and must retain an independent monitor for three years.”

    Apparently, this toilet is not out of the water yet. However, we know that the Department of Education loves to throw as many lifelines as possible to these in$titution$. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the federal government gave this school the $6 million line of credit.

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  14. I know there are no name med schools out there. But it seems that even the so so graduates from those schools still get to be doctors. But that's to be expected when those schools are responsible and cull the herd at beginning of the application process. Not after the students have racked up a shit ton of debt.

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    1. The thinning of the herd takes place much, much sooner. Hordes of very smart kids just don't get in because the profession protects the value of its credential via artificial scarcity.

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  15. How many students there have not yet completed two semesters? Not many people would attend for one semester only. Is the refund directed primarily at people who have paid for the coming year but have not attended yet at all?

    Who would be ass enough to extend a line of credit to keep a toilet school financially viable while it is winding down? Winding down means very poor prospects for repayment. Perhaps the line of credit could go to InfiLaw, which for now still has two other toilet schools, although neither of them is in good shape.

    Harlotte, cut the crap about "help[ing] [y]our students complete their legal education". You didn't hire a lobbyist for the students' sake; it was all about InfiLaw's coffers.

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    Replies
    1. And that lobbyist fee was a small pittance in their coffers. Only in politics can such a small investment consistently give such high returns.

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  16. And look at this, this dump is closing!

    https://twitter.com/atlblog/status/897541604264771585

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  17. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/business/dealbook/for-profit-charlotte-school-of-law-closes.html

    On August 15, 2017, the New York Times DealBook featured an Elizabeth Olson piece entitled “For-Profit Charlotte School of Law Closes.” From the opening:

    “Charlotte School of Law, an embattled for-profit law school, has shut down, state officials confirmed — making it the nation’s second accredited law school to close its doors this year.

    Although Charlotte Law did not issue a formal closing notice, its license to operate in North Carolina expired, it had no approved plan to teach students and, as of Tuesday, it no longer had a website.

    The North Carolina attorney general’s office, which has been investigating the law school for several months, confirmed that the school had closed.

    “I want to express my disappointment for the students and their families affected by Charlotte School of Law’s failure,” Josh Stein, the attorney general, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The law school had been hanging on by a thread for months in the face of tumbling enrollment after the American Bar Association’s accreditors put it on probation in November.

    The attorney general’s office has been examining whether Charlotte Law’s students had the required information to enroll for the school’s law degree.

    The attorney general’s office notified the federal Education Department that Charlotte Law was no longer licensed to operate in the state. Without a license, “Charlotte School of Law is now required to be closed,” Mr. Stein said in his statement.

    Earlier this year, trustees of Whittier College in California announced the closure of Whittier Law School, the first fully accredited law school to succumb to declines in student enrollments and tuition revenue.

    Charlotte Law had struggled with those same problems and more. The A.B.A.’s accrediting body had placed the school on probation after finding its disclosures for students fell short of requirements. Not long after, the federal Education Department cited the school for “substantial misrepresentations” to students about its compliance with accreditation standards.”

    Frankly, I was surprised this dump closed its doors. I suppose it faced too many problems, chief among them that it was an in$titution that would essentially accept anyone with a pulse. Keep in mind that the wealthy owners of this school did not come up with the funds necessary to keep it in operation.

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