Something Else by the Links—Nonprofit Higher Ed Criticized, LSATs down from last Year, Calls for Independent Audits of Law Schools, & Defaulted Student Loans Inefficiently Collected

Four topics:

(1a) Jacques Steinberg, “Is What’s Ailing For-Profit Colleges Evident throughout Higher Education?” in the New York Times, Education: “The Choice”

(1b) Marc Bousquet, “Fix Nonprofit Higher Ed First,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Bousquet dubs Title IV higher education funding, “The Tuition Gold Rush,” and instead of paying out the excess capital to investors as profit, universities spend it on capital improvements: grounds, sports teams, endowments, and administrators.  Bousquet even comes up with his own solutions, including free public school tuition (paid with tax increases on wealthy Americans), and hiring more Ph.D.’s to teach courses instead of masters students.  Nothing on what private schools would change.

Good luck.  The Title IV cycle is entrenched, and if the ABA’s attitudes are any indicator, university officials believe they are not only entitled to the federally guaranteed debt money, but also that the federal government should raise the caps.

(2) Debra Cassens Weiss, “Labor Report Cites Rise in Nontraditional Jobs for Lawyers, Good Paralegal Prospects,” in the ABA Journal

I’m not going to reinvent Shilling Me Softly’s wheel, so read about this article there.  My value added?  Why does the BLS think the economy will recover?  We’d need to add 400,000 jobs per month for four years to reach full employment, and total public and private debt-to-GDP in the U.S. is 350%, higher than even during the Depression.  Until that debt is wiped out, there will be no recovery.


This should keep you awake at night, if you don’t already have your own problems. I direct your attention to the large blob of financial sector debt that didn’t exist 50 years ago.


(3) Mark Grabowski, “Opinion: Are Law Schools Scamming Students?” in AOL News

Grabowski’s article doesn’t tell us anything readers of this blog and others don’t already know: the legal sector is in the toilet, grads can’t get career jobs, and law schools are juking the stats while raising tuition.  Regarding law school graduate employment reporting, he quotes University of Chicago’s Brian Leiter:

This data is entirely self-reported by schools and should be treated as essentially fiction.

Add Leiter to the list of law professors facing reality.  Faced with Law School Transparency’s unsuccessfulness Grabowski advocates independent audits of law schools’ outcomes.

A reader alerted me to a point Grabowski made, 55,000 people sat for the October 2010 LSAT, down from October 2009’s 60,746, a 9.5% drop!  It’s still the second highest number of takers in one month, yet combined with the modest 1.2% increase for June 2010 takers over June 2009, perhaps the drop indicates that people are starting to realize law school isn’t a worthwhile investment.  Keeping it in perspective though, eyeballing the LSAC’s stats, roughly 140,000-170,000 people sit for the test each year—enough to easily fill every law school seat three times.

(4) John Watts & M. Stan Herring, “Some Student Loan Collectors Have Been Asleep at the Switch,” in Alabama Consumer Law Blog

Private student loan companies have been inefficiently collecting on defaulted debts, meaning there’s a market for student loans for those willing to buy up the loans and turn a profit by collecting on the missed defaults.  Expect more collection in the future.


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