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Student Loan Forgiveness

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it will end access to federal student financial aid for Charlotte School of Law (CSL) on December 31, 2016. The Charlotte School of Law has until Jan. 3, 2017 to submit evidence disputing the department’s findings.

According to the American Bar Association Journal article below, the ABA told the school in February and July 2016 that it was out of compliance, and the information was not shared with current or prospective students.

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The U.S. Department of Education stated that the Charlotte School of Law “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. Both findings merit denial of the school’s request for continued participation in the federal student aid programs.

“The ABA repeatedly found that the Charlotte School of Law does not prepare students for participation in the legal profession. Yet CSL continuously misrepresented itself to current and prospective students as hitting the mark,” U.S. Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell said in a press release. “CSL’s actions were misleading and dishonest. We can no longer allow them continued access to federal student aid.”

Statements from The Washington Post article published on December 19th include:
“The bar association first raised concerns about Charlotte School of Law, a for-profit college founded in 2004, after an on-site evaluation last year. Examiners concluded that the school’s curriculum failed to prepare students to take the bar and that the administration admitted people incapable of completing the program. After months of hearings and requests for more information, the bar this summer said the law school was not living up to the standards necessary for accreditation.

Half of the 354 first-year students at the school dropped out of the program this year, compared with 45 percent last year, according to the Education Department. Of the 174 who left, more than 36 percent said it was due to academic attrition, meaning that they were not in good academic standing. The bar association said that of the 208 law schools it accredits, Charlotte School of Law has the highest number of first-year students leaving for academic reasons.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the law school enrolled 946 students who received about $48.5 million in federal student aid, primarily federal student loans, according to the department. Charlotte School of Law is the first law school in the past three years to be kicked out of the federal student-aid program.”

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