At the end of 2016, the Department of Education announced they would not grant federal loans to the students of a for-profit law school.
It’s the first accredited law school to lose its access to federal aid. For many students, this is a huge imposition, and it highlights a growing trend regarding for-profit schools.
Below, find out what this development means for current students, and what you should do if you are affected by a similar situation.
ABA puts Charlotte School of Law on probation
The Charlotte School of Law is a small, private, for-profit school in North Carolina. Founded in 2006, the American Bar Association–the leading professional organization in law–accredited the school 2011.
But in 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA) put the university on probation, saying that the school failed to meet their standards in preparing students for a career in law. They directed the school to take a series of steps so it can once again comply with necessary standards.
Department of Education withdraws federal student aid
In December 2016, the Department of Education announced that they would not give federal student aid to students of Charlotte Law School.
In a press release, they cited this move as necessary to protect the welfare of students and taxpayers’ money.
“The ABA repeatedly found that the Charlotte School of Law does not prepare students for participation in the legal profession,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell in a statement. “Yet CSL continuously misrepresented itself to current and prospective students as hitting the mark. CSL’s actions were misleading and dishonest.”
The move was a huge blow to Charlotte Law School. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 900 students were receiving federal aid totaling over $48.5 million.
Students face financial hardships
While the Department of Education’s efforts were intended to help students, it leaves many Charlotte Law School students scrambling to come up with the money to pay for tuition and living expenses.
For students who depend on their federal loans to pay rent, many are facing homelessness since those funds are not available.
Additionally, students have to figure out whether to stay at Charlotte Law School or try to transfer elsewhere. For individuals who have already invested years–and thousands of dollars–it’s a difficult decision. Many have found that their credits will not transfer to other law schools, so they would have to start over.
Several law firms have come forward to offer current students their help in filing legal action against Charlotte Law School. The firms are filing both individual and class-action suits, alleging that the school failed to disclose information to students.
Charlotte Law School provides temporary solutions
Second-year student Jeremy Snyder found out his mother had stage four cancer in the fall, right before classes started. Snyder is juggling caring for his mom while trying to get answers from Charlotte Law School on how to proceed.
“They don’t return phone calls, they don’t return emails, and so they just kept stalling, stalling, and stalling,”‘said Snyder in an interview with WCCB News. “So I emailed and I said guys this is BS. We need some answers. We deserve answers.”
But instead of getting answers, Snyder received an honor code violation for using bad language.
In an email to students, the school outlined some options for students to pay for their spring semester.
For instance, students who now have to pay for school themselves can get a 20 percent tuition discount. Additionally, institutional loans are also available, but they do not cover living expenses.
In January, Charlotte Law School issued some $1,000 emergency loans to students in desperate situations. The for-profit institution is working to try and secure federal funding the future, essential for the school’s survival.
For-profit schools continue to see aid withdrawn
Charlotte Law School is just the latest for-profit school to lose access to federal student aid. According to the Department of Education, more than 40 institutions in the past three years have lost federal aid, including Marinello Schools of Beauty and Medtech College.
For-profit schools have come under intense scrutiny for their recruitment practices, as well as unsatisfactorily preparing students to succeed in careers after graduation.
If you’re a current student of Charlotte Law School, you can check for updates about the school’s status and student loan information on the Department of Education site.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.57% – 6.98%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.80% – 6.22%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.57% – 8.17%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|