Posts Tagged ‘no job’

Behind the curtain of student loans (Law graduate gets a student loan discharge but…)

Behind the curtain of student loans – Generation J.D. (06/14/2012, Maryland Daily Record)

I will sum up this article. You either have to be a parapalegic, suffer under a severely disabling disease or die for a bank/Sallie Mae to CONSIDER fully discharging your student loans.  I’m not sure why the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Trade Commission (Truth in Lending Act) and other federal departments/agencies take a stand. Oh…Sallie Mae has the money for the lobbyists. That’s how they were able to get Congress to change the bankruptcy laws so discharging student loans is nearly impossible. Welcome to financial indentured servitude. The text of the article is below:

Behind the curtain of student loans By: Dorothy Hae Eun Min Last month, a former law student won a bid in bankruptcy court to discharge nearly $340,000 in education debt because her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome rendered her unable to repay the loans. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland found that Carol Todd, who attended (the University of Baltimore School of Law, met the difficult burden of showing that she would suffer undue hardship if forced to repay her debt. (emphasis mine) Todd received her high school GED during the late ’80s, at age 39. She received an associate degree at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a bachelor’s degree at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University). She began attending law school in 1992 but did not complete the program. She went on to obtain a master’s degree from Towson University and a Ph.D. from an unaccredited online school in 2007. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. Todd pursued success in education “as a stepping stone toward a measure of liberation…to help her achieve something closer to a normal life.” Carol’s case is a rarity. The difficulty of proving undue hardship —the majority of claims are unsuccessful — and of discharging student loans has prompted the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys to call on Congress earlier this year to pass legislation that would allow graduates to discharge loans taken out from private lenders, including for-profit companies such as banks and student loan behemoth Sallie Mae. Similar legislation has been submitted over the past two years by Congressional Democrats without making much progress, but NACBA holds hope that this will change soon. While Todd’s story raises questions about undue hardships to borrowers due to a permanent mental disability, what does this mean for any changes to legislation when it comes to a borrower who suffers a permanent physical disability that ultimately prevents him or her from holding down a stable job to pay off student loans? Will Carol’s court decision cause lenders to increase scrutiny on prospective students with disabilities? What if the borrower is the victim of a tragic accident that leaves him in a coma? What happens when the borrower dies, but has a parent co-sign the loan? That’s Christopher Bryski’s story. Bryski was a college student at Rutgers University when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2004 in a fluke accident. He was in a coma for two years before passing away in 2006. To facilitate taking out private student loans for college, his father co-signed on the loans for him. Because his father co-signed on Christopher’s student loan from Key Bank, he was obligated to continue to make payments under the terms of the private loan agreement. He paid more than $20,000 of the $50,000 debt, which forced him to come out of retirement to make the monthly payments. Key Bank finally forgave the loan this past April, but not before the Bryski family struggled for six years after Christopher’s death to make payments and started a Change.org petition to seek help from the public to fight against the bank. What are your thoughts on these issues? In a volatile economy, many individuals seek further education to improve their prospective job opportunities. Should student loan companies provide more transparency to borrowers with regard to accidents and disabilities that could cause them to have trouble making payments?

The court in the first story may have granted the discharge with additional consideration that with all these degrees, one unaccredited and another (law degree) from a TTTT law school, there was no way she would be hired to pay off the debt. Interesting.

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Summer is in the air, so is the stinch of unemployment: More Rejection Letters

What would be a start to a new season without sharing some additional rejection letters for employment the past few months. Ready, let’s dig in! :

05/25/2012:
This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:
Position Title: Public Affairs Specialist
Series/Grade:
1035/11
Promotion Potential: 11
Vacancy ID: 651583
Agency: Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the Office of the U.S. Attorneys
Considered For:Southern District of New York
Duty Location:
New York, NY
We have reviewed your application and found you qualified for the position listed above. However, you were not among the most highly  qualified candidates. Therefore, your name will not be referred to the employing agency at this time. If we receive a request from the agency for additional candidates, or another agency requests a list of eligibles for a very similar position within the next 90 days, your application will again be reviewed for possible referral.

I regret that a more personal form of communication is not possible. For any questions concerning this acknowledgment, please send an e-mail to usaeo.usastaffing@usdoj.gov or contact the agency representative listed in the vacancy announcement. Thanks again for your interest in employment with our agency. (Yes, I am sure you are simply heart broken that I did not receive further consideration, oops wait no real consideration for this position. Let me grab a tissue for you. Meanwhile Sallie Mae continues to threaten me because I am unable to sustain payments.

04/18/2012:
Thank you for your interest in the Attorney position with PGCPS. Unfortunately at this time, we are unable to fill this position. Please continue to check on our website for future positions at pgcps.org. (Here’s clue, stop advertising for positions you have no intent to fill. This is a waste of the local taxpayers money and for those who sent applications/resume via postal mail, it is a waste of resume paper and postage. See it costs money on both sides when you play this game).

04/09/2012:
Dear Applicant:
Thank you for your interest in the Program Manager-Libya position with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). We have received a large number of inquiries from highly qualified candidates for this role. At this time, we have decided to move forward with an individual who more closely matches the skills and qualifications required for this role. (I’m sure you have, while I applied as others encourage me to pursue the versatility aspect of a law degree and to try “something else.” Maybe you can tell them you don’t care for lawyers either.)

02/28/2012:
This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:
Position Title: Attorney Advisor CORE
Pay Plan:   GS
Series/Grade:  0905-13
Vacancy ID: 519372
Announcement Number: MG2011-T0333-DAV-519372-COR
Hiring Office: Administrator 000 Office of Chief Counsel
Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:
Referral Type: Non-Traditional
Appointment Type: Temporary
Specialty / Grade: 0905 – 13
Promotion Potential: 13
Locations: Washington DC Metro Area, DC
The hiring office has decided not to fill the position at this time. (You don’t say, hmmm is it because of the federal deficit or the fact that people who are the highest unemployed are people of color and that’s the bulk of your applicants. Guess you are waiting for your perfect Harvard bred, Anglo-Saxon, male applicant to fill this position.)

02/23/2012:
Thank you for your interest in USAID and the position listed above (Contract Specialist). We are writing to notify you that the team has completed the review of applicants and you were not selected for this position. USAID is a rapidly growing organization that must quickly adapt to the changing world. Consequently our hiring needs change frequently. We would like to invite you to continue to look through our open positions at USAID.GOV or http://www.avuecentral.com. There may be other positions that might match your skills. (wait I thought I could do any thing with a law degree including contracts?)
Because of the volume of resumes we receive, we find it necessary to use the on-line application to screen candidates. If you do apply for another position, please provide as much detail as possible on the application form.
We appreciate your on-going interest in USAID and wish you the best of luck… (I usually won’t go there but I’m at my brink so I give a “liar and f*** you” to the person who auto-generated this rejection letter.)

Select Rejection Letters: Fall/Winter 2011

This is self-explanatory. The following are a sample of rejection letters emailed to me from federal agencies:

● The following are a few letters for this one vacancy:

09/29/2011: Thank you for submitting an application for the position of Attorney Advisor, vacancy announcement number ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  Your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration; however, another applicant was selected for the position.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

Dionne Butler

BUT WHAT, WE MAY STILL HIRE YOU, OR SOMEONE ELSE…:

10/03/2011: Please disregard the Status of Application Letter, dated September, 29, 2011, for the position of the Attorney Advisor, Vacancy Announcement Number: ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  The Selecting Official has determined an extension for considering applicants for Vacancy Announcement Number: ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

OK JUST KIDDING, WE WON’T HIRE YOU:

01/31/2012: Thank you for submitting an application for the position of Attorney Advisor, vacancy announcement number ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  Your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration; however, another applicant was selected for the position.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

Dionne Butler

11/07/2011:

united states of america

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION

One LafayetteCentre

1120 20th Street, NW – Ninth Floor

Washington,DC 20036-3457

 November 7, 2011

 [NAME AND ADDRESS DELETED]

RE: Attorney Advisor GS-0905-11/12/13/14                                                                                                                                                                                           Vacancy Announcement OS-2011-03

 Dear Ms. [                         ]:

The purpose of this letter is to thank you for your interest in our Attorney Advisor position.  We appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to submit an application with us.  Although, your application was forwarded to the selecting official for consideration another applicant was selected for the position.

 Again, thank you for your interest in joining the staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.  We wish you the best of luck in the future.

 Sincerely,

 Linda M. Beard

Linda M. Beard
Human Resources Specialist

 I WAS QUALIFIED FOR EACH GRADE, AND THEY LET ME KNOW I WAS REJECTED FOR EACH GRADE-FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

 08/24/2011:

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR   
BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT   
DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES   
381 ELDEN STREET   
MS 2400   
HERNDON VA  20170   
August 24, 2011   
 
    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   
Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
Vacancy ID:      481224   
Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 14   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.     

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   
    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   
    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   
    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

 ●    08/24/2011:

  DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR    
  BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT    
  DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES    
  381 ELDEN STREET    
  MS 2400    
  HERNDON VA  20170    
  August 24, 2011   

    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title: Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   

    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 13   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further    

    review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.   

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   

    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

    For additional information, please refer to the vacancy announcement for this position. 

  

08/24/2011: This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 12   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.        

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   
    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   
    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.  

 

08/24/2011:

 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR   
 BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT   
 DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES   
 381 ELDEN STREET   
 MS 2400   
 HERNDON VA  20170   

August 24, 2011     

    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   

    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 11   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.         

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   

    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

    For additional information, please refer to the vacancy announcement for this position.   

 

The Wall Street Journal: Lawyers Settle…for Temp Jobs

Lawyers Settle…for Temp Jobs

June 15, 2011 By VANESSA O’CONNELL

When he decided to become a lawyer, Jose Aponte followed a familiar path: He took the LSAT, spent more than $100,000 on law school, took a grueling bar exam and paid for continuing education.

But the work the 37-year-old New York lawyer, a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, is getting is a far cry from the stable, lucrative type he originally envisioned.

The grunt work in corporate litigation is being farmed out to contract attorneys. More and more law school graduates, steeped in student-loan debt, are settling for this unsteady, monotonous work for surprisingly low pay. WSJ’s Vanessa O’Connell and Jason Bellini report.

Mr. Aponte is part of a growing field of itinerant “contract” attorneys who move from job to job, getting paid by the hour, largely to review documents for law firms and corporate clients. These short-term jobs, which can pay as little as $15 an hour, have increasingly become a fixture in the $100 billion global corporate legal industry as law firms and clients seek to lower their costs.

This new “third tier” of the legal world illustrates the commoditization of the legal profession, which once offered most new entrants access to prestige and power, as well as a professional lifestyle. It also shows how post-recession belt-tightening is permanently altering some professions….

Please tell me why is this article JUST NOW being published. It’s so ‘johnny come lately” that it’s journalistic satire. Lawyers haven’t settle into contract work–they have been pushed into contract work by TTT and TTTT schools, false statistics, an economic bubble, lost jobs and oversaturation in the legal industry and let’s not forget outsourcing. The title alone makes it appear that an attorney is CHOOSING to be a temp lawyer when the reality is that many do it because they I don’t know would like to eat the next day. Any time an economy have partners and associates losing their jobs in the private sector and firms merger with others in Europe to decrease costs and relying on LPOs as their new business model the over-the-top educated ones in debt will suffer.

Interesting how the author uses the word “commoditization” you know a sophisticated manner of referring to the legal industry as McLaw or its attorneys ummm “slaves” or “working poor.”

The title is a mockery to those who have worked hard and constantly applied for jobs in their field and level of experience. Then again, maybe lawyers have settled…settled into knowing that their industry and their lives as they believe it would be will never exist or be the same again. It’s a conventional and practical way of thinking for many. To avoid disappointment, become accustomed to depression and being in debt and knowing that your life has been financially ruined though you will be held to a higher standard than any lay person. At a brink where we should be screaming at the top of our lungs are voices have turned to a faint shriek because no one cares. It’s a joke. The only sanity you can really hold on to is regardless of your professors they may have sabatoged you (not all just most), the economy and the corporate greed, you did your best but it’s game that you have likely already lost; but most people do not make a conscious choice to lose. They just didn’t know the game was rigged from the beginning.

Welcome to the Collapse

All Rights Reserved

The news article is entitled:

Welcome to the Collapse, January 3, 2011

A bleak summary of different lives of normal people in chaotic and overpriced New York. Of course you can’t have a story about the economy without referring to an unemployed lawyer right?:

The spinmeisters are playing the same record over and over, recovery, recovery, scratch, scratch, recovery’s in da house!….

Weird, such candor from the VOA. Maybe their CIA check bounced? In any case, let’s meet some denizens of Philadelphia’s the Gallery, my local shopping center. Mrs. Fischel runs a meat and cheese shop. Business has steadily declined over several years now. To make matters worse, management has raised her rent, to make up for other merchants who have closed shops or who are behind in their payments. The third level of this mall is completely dead, and the second is barely hanging on. Just this week, Payless Shoes as well as G&G, Unica and Sunshine Blues, all clothing stores, have gone belly up.

Fischel’s son, a recent graduate of law school, has moved back home from Orange County. He has no job, only mushrooming debts from student loans and credit cards. He loved California and never expected to live in Philly again. It used to be that once you moved out, you stayed out. It was an American rite of passage. By 2006, however, two-thirds of American college graduates were already returning to their parents. Now, the number is up to 85 percent[….] skipped section

Meet Mr. Ali, who runs a modest kiosk offering cheap purses, belts and watches made in China. He used to sell Gucci and Coach labels — not the bags, just the labels — which were tacked or sewn onto knockoffs by the customers themselves. Many of our poorest are infatuated with brand names. With a CK, say, slapped onto their person, they feel instantly higher class.

An immigrant from Pakistan, Ali’s first job was at a Seven Eleven, before he saved enough to buy a gas station. With his current business, it was no big deal to sell $1,500 daily. Now, he’s lucky to gross $500. Whenever this mall’s open, Ali’s in there. All he does is work. Even if there were 12 inches of snow on the ground, Ali would be there at 9AM, waiting for his first customer.

When he had savings, Ali made the fatal mistake of investing in Fannie Mae and Citigroup, among other supposedly blue chip stocks. Like millions of others worldwide, he lost his shirt. A hundred-and-forty-six thousand dollars gone. Ali sold his home and his new truck, hired a lawyer to consolidate his credit card debts. He now drives an unheated lemon. “In a couple of years, I’ll buy another house for my wife and children,” he insists even as his earning nosedives. He’s lost money the last two Christmases[….] skipped section

Back to Giuliani: he inherited his house, so Giuliani doesn’t have to worry about a mortgage, but thanks to the housing bubble, his property tax has ballooned. For sentimental reasons, Giuliani doesn’t want to sell his childhood home, but he may have to. With 10 rooms, the heating bill is enormous, and there won’t be too many buyers lining up.

The Gallery is a hub for commuter and subway trains. This design brings in more customers, sure, but the labyrinthine concourses also provide a haven for many homeless people. Dazed, they wander among shoppers, to be shooed away by guys like Giuliani. Dozing in wheelchairs, collapsing in corners or picking through trashcans, these resilient men and women seem oddly unaware that the recovery is in full swing, and that even dogs, according to our cynical media, got expensive toys this holiday.

The collapse will not be televised. Ignored and alone, each of us will experience it singly. As blemish and accusation, you will be photoshopped from the American Dream group portrait. The lower you slip, the more invisible you will become. The disconnect between what’s real and what’s broadcast will become even more obscene by the day.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

Well here’s the good news; should you not land that dream job after law school, or any law-related job for that matter, especially if you’re a few years out you can always be a poster-child of why you should not go to law school. Just think when you share your heart-wrenching experience of inexplicable debt and mounting sorry you will be paid nothing. Even news writers get paid from your misery

In the News: A New Unaccredited Law School Has Surge in Applications & Enrollment

All Rights Reserved

Strong start for UMass Law – The Boston Globe, July 6, 2010

Lower costs help to double size of first-year class

Yes, lower costs for an unaccredited law school lures unwitting 0Ls to mortgage their futures. Do they not know how slim the chances are for most lawyers who attend an accredited university to obtain jobs in this economy, let alone non-tier 1 law graduates from accredited law schools? The legal profession has become nothing more than a corporate veil.

NORTH DARTMOUTH — Applications and enrollment at the state’s first public law school have surged since the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth acquired the struggling Southern New England School of Law, an early sign that the controversial merger is off to an auspicious start. Sounds like a typical corporate merger and acquisition deal, you know business as usual. Let’s see when one company considers purchasing another it is likely for two reasons 1) company no. 2 is struggling and seeks to get rid of its product, in turn company no. 1 will probably get a tax write off and sell what assets it can to turn a profit OR 2) company no. 1 knows that somehow it can bilk what’s left of company no. 2 and put a spin on the merger to make it appear it’s a valuable asset again and secure new consumers to purchase its product with the prediction that in a few years it will return a profit. This is regardless of whether the product itself had any long-term value, which is why oft-times more money is spent in advertising and marketing (shiny admission brochures and course catalogs) than actually improving the product. This is also done regardless of whether a market is saturated. In general business, people throw ideas around, had it already been produced by another company it’s tossed out as “been there, done that.” Not with law schools.

Following years of pitched political battles to block its formation, the new University of Massachusetts School of Law received 462 applicants for this fall’s incoming class. That is more than twice the number who applied last year, when the school was a little-known private institution.  Even with staunch opposition, the failing law school was allowed to be recusitated though letting it die would’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of potential law students from a disheartening fate. One should wonder, is anyone listening, yes to the cash register.

The size of the first-year class is also doubling to 155. And students’ credentials, as measured by undergraduate grade point averages and LSAT scores, have risen, a feat for a school that has yet to be accredited by the American Bar Association, say university administrators. More than half of those accepted have decided to enroll. Should this statement be proven true, it either means the quality of higher education has reached a level of unimprovement or standards for admissions continued to be lowered. What is interesting is that many of the enrollees have competitive undergraduate records, yet CHOSE to attend an UNACCREDITED professional school. This makes no sense.

“Students are voting their confidence in the fact that we can probably get the accreditation,’’ Jean MacCormack, chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, who plans to seek the designation in 2012. Students are relying on their hopes that the school they attend will get accredited. They are taking a gamble where the stakes are highest on their future, not the schools. The law school will have recouped its investment via student loans, while law graduates (if they make it that far) will graduate with a substantial amount of debt, little job prospects and attendance to an unaccredited university on their resume. Someone push the ‘logic’ button please.

The new students are a nontraditional group, ranging from 21 to 59 years old. More than a fifth will pursue law degrees part time while continuing to work. Half are Massachusetts residents. Nearly a third are black, Latino, Asian, or Native American, the highest minority enrollment among Mass. law schools. The author attempts to make it appear that a third of incoming class is alot. It isn’t. Minorities have caught onto the game. Hopefully the spin on this article doesn’t attempt more students, especially minorities to take the bait to attend law school, especially this one! [see Law School Admissions Lag Among Minorities January 6, 2010 « Life’s Mockery]

And 39 percent will receive financial aid, including 25 students awarded a fellowship that covers half of the $23,565 tuition for committing to four years of practicing public service law upon graduation. 39% on student loans and only 25 OUT OF 462 students have a partial scholarship in which they have to work in a non-existent, low pay state/local level government job which won’t even cover their basic necessities after their initial deferment payment. Oh from an unaccredited law school, great investment right?

“The fellowship is a huge relief for someone in my position,’’ said Brandon Ferris, the 25-year-old victim-witness advocate. “As soon as this school became UMass, there was no question where I was going to go.’’ [emphasis mine] He’ll need a victim-witness advocate when he’s testifying about the student loan industry before Congress on Captiol Hill.

The public law school, whose tuition is about 40 percent less than what private law schools charge, formally assumed its new identity July 1. The school was decades in the making. Attempts to create it repeatedly faltered amid challenges from private law schools that said the state had enough law schools, questioned its financial feasibility, and were threatened by the more affordable competition. Yet, no one listened. Although I’m confident these law schools opposed this one for monetary reasons, like wanting to hoard potential law students for their own profit, at least they were right in asserting that the state had too many law schools.

Its existence, though, has not appeared to affect UMass Law’s primary rivals, including Suffolk, New England, and Western New England law schools. Suffolk saw a 2.5 percent increase in its applications for next year, with first-year enrollment holding steady at 530 students. These sound like unprecedented enrollment numbers, how can this be allowed?

Twenty first-year students are already on campus, getting a jump on law school with a criminal justice course taught by law school dean Robert Ward. In nine weeks over the summer, they will cover a range of topics from Fourth Amendment searches and seizures, to conspiracy and inchoate crimes.

Three weeks ago, Ward said, he worried whether some of his students belonged in law school. But he said he has found that the students have fewer academic challenges and possess better writing and analytic skills than students in previous years’ classes.  [emphasis mine]This professor even admits that the school admitted students who should not be attending law schools, but “at least they’re better than the prior class.” That doesn’t mean much except that many students in that prior class shouldn’t have been admitted either. I wonder whether more professor will have the courage to form a committee to make recommendations on limiting law school enrollment and types of students enrolled. Probably not, that will interfere with their sabbaticals and pensions.

Other supporters have stepped up as well to help build the law school’s future, which MacCormack has vowed would not cost taxpayers a cent. Charles Hoff, a venture capitalist, former UMass trustee, and UMass Lowell graduate, has pledged $210,000 in scholarships for needy graduates of any UMass campus to attend the law school. Key words: venture capitalist, thus a money making venture, investors are banking on the false hopes of newly enrolled students.

The new students said having a state law school makes a legal education more accessible. With the lower tuition, and fellowships for public service and high LSAT scores, some students believe they will graduate with little to no debt. Look how subtle this line is. The author implies, that’s what they believe but is not reality. Even with partial fellowships for those whopping 25 enrollees, interest and fees will mount and continue to increase as the student loan industry tries to recoup money it will lose due to the new federal regulations concerning subsidized loans. Law graduates will likely rely on parents, credit cards, forebearances and deferments for survival. That’s why the author states “some students believe they will graduate with little or no debt.” Belief is not reality.

Have You Heard?: Feds Investigate For-Profit Universities Amidst Growing Default

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ahhh, it’s like music to our ears? On June 21, 2010 a U.S. Senate Committee announced a hearing entitled “Emerging Risk? An Overview of the Federal Investment in For-Profit Education”:  US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions: Newsroom – Press Releases

With the current economy and an increase of debt and student loan defaults, the federal government finally became satiated and wants answers. I really don’t understand how such a big portion of the U.S. economy both mortgages and student loans could remain unregulated for two decades and after the emerging economic collapse the question is asked “what happened?” o.k…let’s see if a little common sense will clarify: when you don’t supervise a sector and allow them to run amuck they will do anything they can, find any loophole, use any possible agent, step on the average American to get that almighty dollar. But as long as it APPEARED that the economy is ok and the private sector seemed to know what it was doing a blind eye was turned. Now, evidence of the economic consequence is so great, the country has to address it, though it appears it’s too late. Then again, it’s not like the exact same people have been in control or even members of Congress for the past two decades–wait the majority has. Yet, we have to give credit to the federal government for taking a major step to address these issues. Anyway… 

“More than two decades have passed since Congress last examined the for-profit education sector and in that time, we have seen an explosion in growth in for-profit colleges, and in the federal taxpayer dollars they receive,” said Harkin.  With students, families and taxpayers investing so heavily in for-profit institutions through large loan debt and billions of dollars in federal student aid, we must ensure that student are actually getting the knowledge and skills they need to pay off the debt. Congress has notice the massive debt that university students incur, without the ability find jobs in this horrible economy or actually demonstrate practical skills in the job market, thus making the university student “unmarketable” because as you know, you are considered as a commodity. You are a social security number, a statistic, owned by the private industry, that’s why your debt can be traded to whoever buys it and you have no say in the matter. 

“While for-profit colleges have a responsibility to their shareholders, they also have a responsibility to provide educational value to their students, and an obligation to ensure that the federal dollars they receive are well spent, particularly now that Congress has made an historic investment in student aid.” Historic? This word should cause us all concern, this sounds like a venture that is unprecedented which will require a different type of solution. The past two decades the federal government increasingly spent taxpayer dollars on colleges and universities without seeing a return. Maybe now the federal government understands what the average law graduate deals with everyday of his/her life.  College students graduating to become working citizens and meaningful participants in the growth of the economy (no, buying branded lattes does not count). But, let’s face facts, the government is seeing a constant money loss and want their money back, which is its right, however my skepticism dictates that it hardly cares whether or not students received a valuable education, just that, because the latter is lacking so is the student loans’ repayment rate. 

Witnesses will include:
Panel I
Kathleen Tighe, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC
Panel II
Steven Eisman, Portfolio Manager, FrontPoint Financial Services Fund, LP, New York, NY
Yasmine Issa, former Sanford Brown Institute student, Yonkers, NY
Sharon Thomas Parrott, Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer, DeVry, Inc., Chicago, IL
Margaret Reiter, former Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, San Francisco, CA
  
Notice that not one dean of student affairs, university president, graduate student, or parent with a PLUS loan aren’t participating in this hearing session. At least there is one undergraduate student, though she only has $20,000 of debt; compared to any graduate or professional school graduate we scoff at that, but suffering is suffering. Looking at numbers, filings and memoranda will not give the full picture of this epic problem. Sometimes putting the faces with the numbers, stories of devastated lives injects the creative adrenaline needed to garner a communicable solution.

In the first panel: Kathleen Tighe , Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, her testimony does not get too relevant until P. 12:   

“Considering the economic downturn over the last several years, combined with escalating student loan debts, a significant concern is the potential for increased loan defaults as we have seen the national cohort default rate increase recently.” I agree we all should be worried, but I wouldn’t characterize this particular concern as ‘potential’ I think it’s more accurate to say ‘inevitable.’ I had to find the definition of ‘cohort’ default rate which refers to borrowers entering into their repayment period. Those in deferment or forbearance mask what will be the default boom of student loans. 

Not addressed by this change were two issues noted in our earlier report. In that report, we identified that cohort default rates were not a true representation, as they were reduced by: (1) a statutory change to the HEA’s definition of default from 180 days of delinquency to 270 days of delinquency; this 90-day delay excludes a significant number of defaulters from the cohort default rate calculation; and (2) an increase in the use of deferments and forbearances. As well as providing an increased period of time for universities to seek more funding with a buffer period hiding the true default, thus making the institutions appear more qualified for additional federal funding, at least that’s my theory. 

 We found that deferments and forbearances had more than doubled in the period we examined.  Borrowers in deferment or forbearance do not make payments on their loans, so they are not counted as defaulters, but they continue to be counted with other students in the cohort, thus reducing the cohort rate. May she meant “reducing the ‘cohort default rate.”  I guess I did have the right line of thinking. 

 While we recognize that the Congress has provided additional repayment flexibilities, when borrowers reach the limits on deferments and begin repayment they may still lack the income and eventually default and are not accounted for in the cohort default rate. The rest of her testimony can be read here: [http://help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Tighe.pdf

I wanted to highlight one of the other testifiers Yasmine Issa, as she starts you feel as if she took a portion of your life transcript:  

Thank you for inviting me to speak today. My name is Yasmine Issa. I thought that going to school to learn a marketable skill would allow me to provide for my family. Instead it has left me more than $20,000 in debt, and unable to be hired in the field I trained for. The resounding imagery of your life has now flashed before your eyes. As you can see, she assumed that what she learn was actually a marketable skill, and as with many lawyers and law graduates was left unemployed. Oh and multiply that $20,000 by 5 and you have the average student loan debt for law graduates. The rest of her story diverges as her training was not from a certified school while law schools have no problem with accredidation [http://help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Issa.pdf]. I may have to do a Part II, but am unsure I can stomach it.