The assumption that financing to get legal education would not exist if it wasn't so heavily subsidized is crazy. If it's a good investment, people will find ways to lend for it. Banks will lend to people going to top schools because there is a high likelihood of being paid back. The government can even step in to spur lending with a more limited role by offering tax subsidies on income earned through educational interest payments. If the top applicants are unable to go to unaffordable schools that they can't get financing for, then low cost options will be there and firms will move to hire graduates from cheaper schools that are attracting talented applicants. Lower cost tuition benefits folks across all social strata even if it benefits rich people more disproportianately
I agree. Who says someone can't afford to go to law school? Thanks to government largesse (loans) anyone
other than a bankrupt or convicted felon, or severely delinquent debtor can get loans totalling the full cost of tuition AND Cost of Living. There is no such thing a unmet
Giving "merit" scholarships really in the end disproportionately helps those most likely to get high paying jobs (because they were good students to begin with and likely will be high paid lawyers) or they will go onto public interest and could get LRAPS or IBR to pay back their loans anyway.
"Merit" is a joke, just intended to get students to move to boost the school's USNWReport numbers. It's the middle class folks, who end up taking out 150k in loans, not the "poor" kids. The "poor" kids, who have huge undergraduate debt, or poor parents, or unemployed parents, or who blew their inheritance (but who can still make 160k) are the ones who get the scholarships and no (or little debt) How fair is THAT? I say spread the money around AFTER graduation based on abilty to repay (not your parents (in)ability to pay up front).
And while we're at it- why are law students paying 7.9% interest rates on government guaranteed loans that we never can get out from under (short of death). We're subsidizing UG loans to help students get worthless degrees from for profit institutions and who WILL likely be both unemployed and default on UG loanss. (Lawyers can't get out of the loans because to default is a Character issue that will get you disbarred).
Private loans were running 3.5% before the government ran the private lenders off- claiming the privates were profiting off the government. No, they were charging less and living off the spread. Get us some REASONABLE rates on GRAD PLUS loans for law students.
If you want some honesty in the system do away with ALL up front aid.
First you will even the playing field- schools would then just compete on merit (quality of educaiton and employablity upon graduation).
Second, schools that don't produce good, employable lawyers will be forced to close because no one will choose them, reducing the number of lawyers (a good thing, I don;t care who is "underserved" today).
Third, endowments could be used for something useful- like teaching and supporting programs.
Fourth, those who get 160k gigs (and some still do) can pay back their loans with there own dollars. No need for subsidy at any point, but schools COULD actually subsidize more people and at a greater level if they weren't making loans up front. Those who opt for govt/pi can be subsidized for the greater good.
Fifth, with IBR plans, many will get the government to pay back their loans anyway, so why should the schools be in the loan buisiness? Let everyone get GRADPlus loans.
And as long as we are talking hypocrisy, if schools ARE gooing to give out "need based" money, how about not counting parents abilty to pay at the point most students are attending? No matter what the law student's age, most are NOT getting money from mom and dad, or if they are, it's a hardship. To say they will phase out parents at 27-29 or thirty is jusat laughable when over 55 of law students will be out of law school before they hit 27.
And if mom and dad DID pay for undergraduate, the law student gets no help from the law school, but if mom and dad were smart enough to force junior to take out UG loans, law school will help pay THOSE off, before helping the middle class student whose parent's had the foresight to plan ahead. Yeah that makes sense.
Law School funding needs a BIG overhaul, but unfortunately it's too big an issue to address now. Good luck folks.