ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF HOW THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN DO IT BETTER!
Why is it always the students who get shafted?
Private Sector Law School Scam
We all know that the second pillar of the conservative tripartite hymn of economic fundamentals is that the private sector – because they are more efficient, more productive and tend to operate mean and lean – can do it better than governments. An article in the September edition of The Atlantic, “The Law School Scam” by Paul Campos, explores the phenomenon of private sector higher education institutions and how efficiently and efficiently they defraud students while filling their own pockets and those of their Wall Street investors with taxpayer paid profits. True, the second pillar of conservative economics doesn’t say that the private sector is honest.
The InfiLaw System was created in 2004 as a private graduate level law school operator. Their three schools, Florida Coastal School of Law (2004), Arizona Summit Law School (2005) and Charlotte (NC) Law School (2006) are all accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The impetus for the establishment and operation of these private graduate institutions is the Federal Direct Plus Loan Program which provides loans to graduate and professional students. In 2006 an extension of the existing program included loans for full tuition and full living expenses with no limit on the amount a student can borrow nor any limits on the amount institutions of higher education can charge their students. The loans flow directly from the Federal Government to the student borrowers.
The juicy part of this program for the universities and their investors is that they get their money upfront. Also, the student recipients are wholly responsible for the repayment of their loans and in case of default, it’s us taxpayers who are responsible for paying back the Direct Plus loan program. In other words, we loan the money and if a student defaults we are paying ourselves back.
That’s how the program works for better or for worse.
Here are a few statistics concerning the InfiLaw graduate law programs:
90% of their 1,191 students in 2013 had taken loans.
$204,000 is the median of the loan amount per student
$250,000,000 is the amount each graduating InfiLaw class carries in debt
The whole idea of higher education – at least in today’s conservative America – is to prepare for a job. So let’s look at InfiLaw’s job stats:
THE JOBS DATA
36% of 2013 InfiLaw grads have full time jobs 9 months after graduation
(Problem is the bulk of these jobs are Infi created, intern type jobs, not permanent nor at law firms and created only to meet program requirements. And we are paying for them.)
0.92% have jobs with pay levels that can support the repayment of their loans
78% of Columbia Law School grads have jobs that pay enough to support their indebtedness
16% of ABA accredited law school grads have jobs that support the student’s indebtedness
So a even a cursory look at the economics supporting InfiLaw’s operation is pretty damn solid: their funds come from the Federal Government with no strings attached; they are not responsible for securing outside employment for their graduates; they bear no financial or moral responsibility if their students default on their Federal loans; and apparently it’s OK with everyone that only 0.92% - let’s be generous and say 1% - of their graduates secure jobs with sufficient pay levels that would support the amount of loan indebtedness their students have incurred.
Wow! No wonder the private sector can do it better – they are off the hook, have no responsibility, have no accountability for anything they do and it’s US – we Federal Taxpayers – who are supporting this fraud!
Now THAT is ONE SWEET DEAL! Wish I could find one like it myself.
The Atlantic Article delves into the entire issue of higher education in today’s conservative America. It notes, for example, that there is approximately $1 trillion in debt carried today by students and the CBO estimates that an ADDITIONAL $1.3 trillion of indebtedness will be taken on by young Americans by the year 2025. As the article concludes, this is a fundamentally unsustainable model of higher education that results in over-credentialed, under employed and deeply debt laden generations of young people.
Yup. Just gotta love the lean, mean private sector taking care of America’s youth.
The Atlantic’s informative full article is here: