The National Jurist - Spring 2017 - 4
For-profit law schools under pressure
Florida Coastal School of law and Charleston School of law flunk Department of
education standard, giving them a year to improve or risk losing federal aid
But it has filed a teach-out plan with the
ABA section of Legal education and
Admissions to the Bar as a contingency.
the ABA will review the plan in march,
and, if accepted, the school will remain
their legal education in Charlotte, Florida
Coastal would be responsible for distributing federal student aid and administering
student and career services.
But Florida Coastal could also lose fedphoto by heather blanton
the five ABA-accredited for-profit law
schools are under intense pressure from the
Department of education (DOe), which
had previously pulled federal financial aid
from one of the five, Charlotte school of
Law, in January. the DOe announced
that two others - Florida Coastal school
of Law and Charleston school of Law
- failed its new gainful employment
standard. the last two schools, Arizona
summit Law school and Western state
College of Law, received a "zone" rating,
meaning they are in danger of failing.
Charlotte also received a "zone" rating.
the standard measures debt against
graduates' earnings. Florida Coastal and
Charleston must improve their ratios in
the next year or run the risk of also losing
federal student aid, a move that would
most likely force them to close.
Charlotte school of Law lost financial aid starting in January after the DOe
found it made "substantial misrepresentations to current and prospective students
regarding the nature and extent of its
accreditation and the likelihood that its
graduates would pass the bar exam." the
school has since seen more than half of its
students transfer to other schools. It has
only 270 students remaining, down from
1,392 in 2013.
Charlotte, which is one of three ABAapproved law schools owned by the
InfiLaw system, is still hopeful to resolve
issues with the DOe and remain open.
Florida Coastal School of Law
open until December 2019, when all currently enrolled students graduate.
the teach-out plan would appoint
Florida Coastal school of Law, also owned
by InfiLaw, to serve as Charlotte's teach-out
partner. Although students would complete
eral loans, if it fails the DOe's gainful
employment standard two years in a row.
the DOe introduced the gainful employment standard in 2010 in an
attempt to strengthen the federal student
aid program and protect students from
By the numBers
The modest increase in
the number of first-year
law students who enrolled
nationwide in 2016 compared
to 2010. Still, that's the first
increase in six years.
The value of the 2.2 million
hours in legal services that the
Class of 2016 gave as part of
its legal education.
How many more people took
the LSAT in December 2016
than in December 2015,
marking the largest year-overyear growth since 2009.
The NaTioNal JurisT
The percentage of law school
scholarships that are meritbased. Just 19% of scholarships
are need-based, according to
the 2016 Law School Survey of