Thursday, December 22, 2016

Federal government kicks Charlotte off the gravy train

As of the end of the month, the Charlotte School of Law will be ineligible to receive funds from federally guaranteed student loans:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article121768063.html

Last year those funds brought almost $50 million into Harlotte's coffers. Without that money, which represents the bulk of its revenue, Harlotte cannot continue to operate. It may well never open its doors again.

Unsurprisingly, the news of this minor victory for the anti-scam movement has ruffled feathers over at Harlotte. Students are circulating petitions and seeking legal advice in contemplation of litigation. Professors are calling upon InfiLaw, the parent scam-company, to keep the school alive, presumably by injecting tens of millions of dollars per year:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article122250319.html

Particularly aggrieved are those students who expected to graduate after one more semester. I agree that they should be given that chance to finish their degrees. Late December is a terrible time to find out that the skule may not open again after the break.

But should they want to finish? If the skule closes down on them, they can wash their hands of their student loans. That's a hell of an opportunity, one that many similarly placed students and recent graduates would grab in a trice. I suspect, however, that at least 90% of the 3Ls at Harlotte won't share that view: they'll still want the degree, despite their very poor prospects and the huge amount of non-dischargeable debt that most of them will have run up.

Might two camps emerge at Harlotte? The professors and most of the students will probably demand that Harlotte stay open for one more semester at least. But students who find out about the rare opportunity to dump their student loans may lobby for Harlotte never to open again. And the administrators may even advertise that opportunity in order to drum up support for a prompt closure.

The option of transferring raises an additional complication. Traditionally one could transfer no later than the end of the first year. Lately, however, some law schools have taken transfer students with two years of credit. Might some enterprising scamsters, especially those in or near North Carolina, go after some Harlotte students needing to transfer for only one more semester? Students availing themselves of that option would not be allowed to discharge their student loans, so transferring would probably still be a bad idea.

And what is InfiLaw going to do? Presumably it will offer to absorb Harlotte's students at one of the other two InfiLaw toilets. But would anyone, even a Harlotte student, be stupid enough to take that offer after being stung by InfiLaw?

34 comments:

  1. The majority of these TTTT students/willing rape victims will seek to continue their educaTTTTion elsewhere. And those other toilets will gladly accept them.

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    1. Universities typically require transfer students to stay for a reasonable amount of time, such as a couple of years, or to complete a reasonable number of credits (easily enforced by limiting the number of credits accepted upon transfer). That seems fair. Were it otherwise, someone could complete all but one credit of a degree at Bumblefuck U, get that last credit at Harvard, and demand Harvard's name on the sheepskin, despite having only a trifling connection to Harvard.

      Usually it would be Bumblefuck that accepted the credit from Harvard and issued the degree. Quite a few people from my law school finished with a semester at another university, typically in another country; of course, they got their degree from the original law school, not the one where they completed the last of their work.

      So InfiLaw has another option: offering to award degrees from Harlotte to students who finish their last few credits elsewhere. Since InfiLaw operates other Harlottesque toilets, it could simply give one of them the administrative task of managing this final responsibility of a defunct Harlotte.

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    2. Nando is right, a small percentage of 3rd year LS students will have severe buyer's regret and will want to get out of debt at the expense of graduating. The vast majority seem to be thoroughly deluded and over-invested. They will finish their degrees if at all possible.

      "But students who find out about the rare opportunity to dump their student loans may lobby for Harlotte never to open again. And the administrators may even advertise that opportunity in order to drum up support for a prompt closure."

      This isn't going to happen unfortunately.

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  2. Cutting off the government loan dollars has always been the holy grail when it comes to ending the scam. Take away the loan dollars and Charlotte is as good as dead The same holds true for half the law schools in the country. Maybe more than half. As far as the get out of debt free card, my guess is the typical CSL student is too dumb to realize what a golden opportunity this is. It’s not until they have been out a while, unemployed and buried in a mountain of debt that will never be repaid that they begin to realize just how fucked they are.

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  3. If I am not mistaken, isn't there something buried in the bankruptcy code which permits student loans to be discharged if the educational institution does not (or cannot) accept federal student loan money? Or is not accredited?

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    1. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school

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  4. Charlotte Law has until Jan. 3, 2017 to submit a response to the Dept. of Ed. I believe the Dept. of Ed.'s letter cutting off federal financial assistance to Charlotte says the response might cause the Dept of Ed. to restore funding.

    I won't count on federal financial aid being cut off from CSL. Even if CSL's response submission does not cause the Dept of Ed. to restore federal student loan access, the legal process may. I certainly can see CSL being allowed access to federal student loans pending some final resolution of the dispute or until CSL's 2 year probationary period ends.

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    1. That was my initial take, but the Department of Education's 14-page letter to the Dean of Charlotte Law, setting forth its findings and conclusions, was extremely strongly worded. (linked below) I do not see the DOE backing off.

      Furthermore, the DOE is apparently restricting Charlotte's response, due Jan. 3, to a submission setting forth "factual evidence to dispute the Department’s findings and demonstrate their inaccuracy." That is, the DOE is not inviting challenges to its legal analysis or pleas for mercy and promises to do better in the future, or self-serving explanations about how the ruling will work a hardship to students or others. Charlotte is only allowed to offer challenges to the factual findings that support the DOE ruling.

      What factual inaccuracy can Charlotte assert? They it does not have the highest 1st year academic and overall attrition of any accredited law school in the country, as the DOE stated? (See Letter, p. 5-7) That Charlotte's remedial plans have not been found by the ABA to have "not proven effective or reliable"? (Letter, p. 8) That the various well-documented statements to students and prospective students that the DOE deemed false and misleading were never made? (Letter, p. 9-14)

      https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/csl-recert-denial.pdf

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    2. Harlotte can always go for an injunction, but I don't fancy its chances.

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    3. Charlotte’s 509 report contains numerous damning statistics (LSAT medians, bar passage rates etc ...). However, to me, the most damning stat of all is the 50% 1L attrition rate. This is proof that Charlotte knowingly enrolls dozens of “students” every year who have absolutely no business stepping foot in law school. The only explanation for this conduct is greed - a highly unethical money grab. This shit hole needs to be shut down.

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    4. To be fair, that attrition rate includes students who left for other reasons, such as transferring to another law school or simply deciding that law is not for them.

      That said, only 44 of the 174 who left after no more than a year did so for reasons of "Transfer" or "Other". The remaining 130 left for "Academic" reasons; in other words, they failed out. Thus about 37% of the class failed out in first year. That's still a monstrous rate, and, as you said, it betrays predatory admissions practices.

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    5. Med schools use misleading statistics on its "3%" attrition rate by only factoring in people expelled, not those pressured into leaving before expulsion, which is the vast majority of those that leave med school, in order to maintain artificially low numbers.

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  5. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingDecember 22, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    They are owned by Sterling Partners, a private equity group out of Chicago. I will buy everybody a Thick Burger at Hardees when Supreme Leader Trump STAYS all regulatory enforcement. When he shouted about regulatory burdens, this is what he meant. Mark my words. Would you like fries with your Thick Burger?

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  6. I bet Charlotte failed to pay a bribe to someone. I don't understand how this is the only law school to fall under the microscope.

    Although perhaps it is a test to see if any action can be taken, and when it holds, the other law schools will get caught up too.

    I'm not sure 30 law schools should even exist in the entire country. There is just no demand.

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  7. From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    ***Four years ago, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx told a radio host that she had "very little sympathy" for students with large debt loads. While she now says that large loans may make sense for those getting professional degrees, she holds that "it is absolutely possible to get a four-year degree without borrowing."

    ***In the office of U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, the incoming chair of the House of Representatives education committee, there’s a desk plate with this simple exhortation: Trust God, Work Smarter, Work Harder.***

    If we could convince her that large loans for law degrees are just as bad, that might help. Perhaps we could start by telling her it used to be a LLB degree (i.e., a bachelor's degree), and her know you've got to be able to get this bachelor's degree, too, without a loan.

    (Apologies for double posting to TTR.)

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    1. Well, the way it worked was you did three years of college and switched to law school for three years and got that LL.B., so it was a bachelor's degree but took six years, one short of the current seven. Many schools offered a two-year law degree that enabled you to take a bar exam, e.g., a B.S.L., for those who had already finished college. That there were no loans involved reflects the real problem - outrageous tuition driven by easy credit federal loans.

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    2. Yes, it is quite possible to get a four-year degree without borrowing. For example, just arrange to be born into wealth.

      I'm sick of hearing this shit from baby boomers. They'll say "I paid my way through college by working". Sure, because tuition was low enough, and wages high enough, that that could be done in the 1960s and 1970s. By the time when Old Guy was in university, tuition had shot up to the stratosphere, and wages had been stagnant despite years of inflation. No amount of trusting in Virginia Foxx's mythological God or working smarter or harder would change those facts.

      In short, Virginia Foxx, fuck off.

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    3. I graduated from college with no debt, but some of the things I did to save money were so extreme that I would never recommend anyone else do them. For example, for most of 2004, I only allowed myself one meal per day. I don't think anyone should have to do that in order to go to college.

      Today, one of the colleges I attended has an on-campus food shelf to help out students in need. How sad is that? What are we doing to our young people?

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    4. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingDecember 23, 2016 at 4:48 PM

      It's called Ronald Reagan. In 1982 when I started college, I was awarded with 100% Pell Grants. In 1983, Reagan gutted the program and I went on 100% loans. My parent's financial circumstances had not changed over the year. Reagan allowed the AIDS epidemic to fester while he stuffed his face with Jelly Bellies. He was hostile to the little guy.

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    5. On the subject of food banks, here's the list of what this unemployed lawyer got last week:

      12 white dinner rolls, expired 3 days earlier
      12 whole-wheat dinner rolls, expired 2 days earlier
      1 loaf of raisin bread, expired 3 days earlier
      2 cinnamon buns, expired 3 days earlier
      1 pineapple
      2 packages of raspberries
      1 head of lettuce, iceberg
      11 eggs (12, but one was broken)
      1 tub of yogurt, caramel, expired 3 days earlier
      3 boxes of pasta (1 penne rigate, 2 farfalle)
      2 packages of Kraft macaroni and cheese (useless without milk)
      10 envelopes of instant oatmeal, assorted varieties
      1 envelope of dried onion soup, marked in Portuguese (which I happen to read)
      3 envelopes of dried chicken soup, all different brands
      2 cans of tomato soup
      3 cans of tomato sauce
      2 cans of baked beans, different brands
      1 can of sweet peas
      1 can of "flakes of chicken" (it looks like cat food, and perhaps is)
      2 tiny envelopes of parsley and garlic seasoning (they must have fallen out of another package)
      3 packages of ramen noodles
      8 granola bars (5 of them gluten-free)
      3 bite-sized granola bars, presumably meant for children
      3 small boxes of juice for children
      1 bowl of cereal, Rice Krispies (apparently the milk goes right into the plastic bowl)
      1 package of rice crackers
      2 small pouches of Combos cheddar-cheese pretzels
      1 cup of "blueberry delight", apparently blueberry-flavored applesauce
      1 package of raspberry-flavored gelatin
      1 bottle of French salad dressing
      1 chocolate bar
      1 box of chocolate-chip cookies, "Civil War Captain America"
      3 chocolate bonbons
      1 can of store-brand cola

      That is supposed to last one person for three to five days. It would last much longer, as I could not possibly eat it all so quickly. On the other hand, it wouldn't supply even one day's nutritional needs, mainly because of the dearth of vegetables (lettuce hardly counts; canned peas aren't much better).

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    6. If you attend a state school and are frugal, it's very easy to graduate without any debt. And even with debt, it's usually around $25-35k with a minimal interest rate. The real scam is with private schools and graduate schools, which cost an arm and a leg.

      The average person however only attends college, has minimal debt, and the real issue is the complete lack of jobs that pay any livable wage or have any type of job security or advancement. It's very much an economic problem. Yes the debt doesn't HELP, but if college graduates were genuinely getting that $1M premium it wouldn't matter.

      The reality is they are graduating into $20k a year contract "jobs" because there's nothing better. 95% of jobs created during the Obama administration were this type of part time, temporary, contract job. So the past 8 years graduates were completely crushed, while the expectations and costs have not adjusted.

      If the federal government wasn't busy interfering in the student loan, healthcare and housing markets, the free market economy would have collapsed prices all around. But the federal government forces demand and refuses to allow standard supply and demand functions to occur for any type of price discovery.

      Everyone seems to believe and insist these things are priceless, and as a result prices are propped up. But in reality most things are worthless. There is healthcare, land and education in third world countries too---worth next to nothing. The government would have you believe none of these things exist outside of the US and they MUST be extremely expensive, but history and the rest of the world show that's a false narrative. It is amazing how much power propaganda and indoctrination have, I am convinced the government could lie about anything and people would believe it. I'm pretty sure the world is round and revolves around the sun, but if the government tomorrow decided to claim otherwise I'm sure within a few short years everyone would change their minds and pretend it was always that way. Same way I was taught there were 9 planets as a child, and aliens can't possibly exist anywhere in the universe, but nowadays both those thoughts are considered stupid.

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    7. What happened to your job Old-Guy...and honestly I still don't get it. How can an intelligent lawyer with an ivy league degree not be able to get a job, even if working for a small firm to help them with their excess? Maybe not killing it, but certainly you can make more than the average working man.

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    8. That is a fairly straightforward answer. The small firms are barely hanging on as well. Governments stopped hiring attorneys. We are competing with billboards that shill $49.00 traffic ticket defense. "Don't Pay That Ticket..." I work a second job at a filling station and my family applied for public assistance as well. There are 98,000 lawyers in my jurisdiction and there isn't enough pie to go around.

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    9. If you know of anyone who wants to hire an intelligent lawyer with an Ivy League degree, please let me know. I am thinking of surrendering my license.

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    10. I absolutely can not believe Old Guy lost his job. But I guess if you are not PPC then it is nothing more than pure luck to hold onto any position in this sewer field.

      These outcomes simply should not happen for very clearly above average and higher intellect people. Frankly, lower intellect people should also be protected from the higher education scam as well. It is just toxic all around.

      You can do pretty much anything else in your life and wind up better off, as at least there is some opportunity in other fields. In many other fields many people show their average and lower intellect and work ethic, and even then can hang on, while those with ability and professionalism and drive can actually succeed to some extent, at least enough to have some sort of stability and some sort of dignity.

      Higher education has completely robbed me of all my best years, and I wish I had just drank and done drugs and blown off all of that time wasted studying. I did not get the true joy of irresponsibility and unrestricted sex that many others did, being a straight laced, honestly with how things turned out, absolute loser instead. To think the winners were actually the ones that did the least of what you were "supposed to do". Oh well.

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    11. I don't think outsiders can truly appreciate how brutal the competition in law is, and how hard it is to break into new business streams and acquire clients that can pay the bills.

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    12. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingDecember 25, 2016 at 8:36 AM

      I am sorry to read that. I don't believe any of us would be posting here if we had obtained monetary success practicing law. I understand what you are going through. I used to do around 50K in appointed work and 30K in private work yearly. Not gang busters, but regular and steady and I was able to purchase a two year old "rental" fleet car every five years. I wasn't a pig. In 2007 that completely ground to a halt and has not returned. I applied for dozens of gub'mint jobs. Nothing. Small law firms are struggling as well. Their kinda just solos like me, except they share an office and one part time receptionist. I am not alone in my circle of attorney colleagues. Hang in there, don't surrender your law license. I am thinking of selling cars---I always wanted to move iron.

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    13. Get a grip, 11:57. Nowadays the small firm folks work nights and weekends on the excess, knowing there may well not be any excess next month, the month after that, etc. In my county the courts have seized the office, files and trust accounts of a well-regarded solo who has been practicing since 1969. So far about $347K unaccounted for. Apparently he couldn't adjust to the new realities. Worst part is many lenders are now refusing to give work to solos because they think the risk of defalcation is too high.

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    14. The epitome of the "Bootstrpping Boomer".

      Let me make this simple for you all:

      http://iamnotaloan.org/blog/2013/07/rep.-virginia-foxx-education-was-cheaper-for-me

      And, of course, she's been in "public service" for a decade leeching off the taxpayers so.. Do As I Say, Not As I Do.

      Out of touch.. Purely out of touch.

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    15. In that link you sent Foxx is quoted as saying something to the effect that it is not the business of Congress to make college affordable. In the abstract I agree with that 100%, but the problem is Congress is who made college unaffordable by pumping billions upon billions into the system and destroying all free market forces.

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    16. Virginia Foxx: "It is not the role of Congress to make college more affordable."

      Indeed not. It is the role of Congress to make it less affordable, accessible primarily to an élite.

      And if there's no reason for high debt, Foxx, why not slap a limit on student loans? Why should anyone be allowed to borrow so much, at public risk, if it's possible to get off one's ass and pay one's own way without significant debt?

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    17. Sending positive thoughts your way, Old Guy.

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    18. Here's a little something for more for you.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/4/17/1084185/-Virginia-Foxx-rake-in-the-dough-from-student-loans-she-despises

      and the defunct link within that article, courtesy of The Wayback Machine:

      https://web.archive.org/web/20120417001823/http://www.salon.com/2012/04/16/a_huge_student_loan_scam/singleton/

      And finally:

      http://origin-nyi.thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/finance/301602-donald-trumps-cowardly-student-loan-plan

      Here's the candy from that link:

      Here is the problem: The Department of Education is administering all of the repayment plans in such a way as to kick as many people out of the programs as possible. The Department has no desire or intentions to forgive anyone's loans, and already has disqualified a whopping 57% of people in the Income Based Repayment program on just one of many grounds they have available to them to eject borrowers from the plan. My best estimate is that ultimately, fewer than 15 percent of the people participating in this repayment program will actually make it through to the end.

      I just saw this new information from him recently and I'm sure many are unaware of these facts.

      Alan Collinge is no fool..

      I wouldn't borrow a dime for education today, knowing what I know. If that means don't go then - don't go.

      They need welders and coal plant and oil field workers and they'll train.. Debt today is a stacked, losing rigged game.

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  8. And, they're being sued:

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article122650944.html

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