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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Charlotte Law School Says Department Of Education Will Restore Federal Student Loans, DOE Demurrs

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts:

ABA Journal, Charlotte School of Law Says It May Get Federal Loan Cash; Education Department Says Not So Fast:

The Charlotte School of Law announced that the U.S. Department of Education "is prepared to reinstate the school’s ability to award" federal student loan money under the Title IV program.

But that announcement seems aspirational at best, as an Education Department spokesperson said by email Monday: “Discussions are ongoing at this time. Until the discussions reach a successful conclusion, CSL will remain ineligible to participate in the Title IV programs.”

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of Charlotte Law School:

Legal Education | Permalink


Let's review:

- The median entering student last fall had a 2.8 undergrad GPA and a 144 LSAT score. That LSAT score is equivalent to the 22nd percentile of test-takers.

- The 25th percentile entering student last fall had a 2.48 undergrad GPA and a 141 LSAT score. A 141 is equivalent to the 15th percentile of test-takers.

- In recent years, that 25th percentile LSAT score has dipped as low as 138, or the 9th percentile of test-takers. The raw score for a 138 is 34 correct answers out of 101. That's just a few more correct answers than what one would probabilistically get correct if they randomly filled in the bubble sheet.

- The NC bar pass rate last July for Charlotte grads was 45%
- The NC bar pass rate last February for Charlotte grads was 25%

ABA Standard 501(b) states: “A law school shall admit only applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.” Interpretation 501-1 of this standard states: "Among the factors to consider in assessing compliance with this Standard are the academic and admission test credentials of the law school’s entering students, the academic attrition rate of the law school’s students, the bar passage rate of its graduates, and the effectiveness of the law school’s academic support program." For the academic year prior to 2015-16, the attrition rate of first year students at Charlotte was 49.2%. Interpretation 501-3 states that "A law school having a cumulative non-transfer attrition rate above 20 percent for a class creates a rebuttable presumption that the law school is not in compliance with the Standard."

- Full-time tuition: $44,284 per year, with an additional $22,534 budgeted for living expenses. Total: $66,818 per year (times three years, plus interest since no graduate loans are subsidized anymore, plus tuition increases, plus bar costs. From 2015-16 to 2016-17 tuition increased 7.1%).

Ah, but they must discount tuition, right? Well...

- Per their 2016 ABA Form 509 required disclosures, only 566 of 918 students received any discounting.

- Median discount: $8,000, which would knock down the annual cost of attendance from $66,818 to $58,818.

- However, many tuition discounts at law schools around the country are contingent upon maintaining a certain GPA which may or may not be attainable due to forced curves. Charlotte claimed to have 264 conditional scholarships in 2015-16. 155 of them were reduced or eliminated at the end of that year.

- Ten months after graduation, only 80 of 340 graduates from Charlotte's Class of 2016 had found full-time, long-term, license-required jobs at any salary. Of those 80, 58 were at small law firms or the hardy (foolhardy) souls who hung a shingle. 105 graduates were still unemployed and seeking work ten months after graduation, for a 30.8% unemployment rate (yet other graduates had unknown employment status or were categorized as unemployed and not seeking work).

I think the data speaks pretty clearly and loudly on its merits.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 2, 2017 8:15:42 AM