UVAIce wrote:As much as everyone on TLS goes crazy about law school tuition, there really isn't that large of a difference between the "law school scam" and the "college scam." 4 years at a private institution or as an out of state student at a public university can easily set someone back $100K. Also, getting a degree in sociology is just as expensive as getting a degree in engineering. The engineer will probably have a job that s/he can pay their student loans with. The sociology major is unlikely to be in the same situation. I'm also willing to bet that the rate of "good outcomes" from lower tier colleges is horrendous. Especially when you throw in the fact that there are a lot of universities with 4 year graduation rates sitting around 50%.
The law school "scam" is really just a sub-genre of the general problem with higher education. Many people invest in higher education for a better outcome salary wise and that simply is not always the case. I think what is different about the law school crowd is that they tend to have other options, even if those options are not a whole lot better than those of most law students. A lot of people in our society think that having one or more advanced degrees automatically makes you more employable.
My biggest issue with all this nonsense is that people really want 0% risk. Or, at the very least, less than double digit risk when it comes to law school. Heck, what people really want is to attend a law school where 100% of the student body has a preferred outcome. Even in the best of times this was not the case and it certainly isn't going to be the case given the context of the times. It does not take an extremely gifted individual to work out what 8% interest is on $200K. At some point I simply stop taking pity on individuals. Higher education in the United States has routinely subsidized the education of "smart" students with students with worse numbers. In my mind, that is what the real problem is here. But I don't see that dynamic changing anytime soon given the hierarchical structures we have built into higher education.
There is some validity to this POV, however there are many more grants and scholarships available to undergrads and far more of them are need based.
I don't think anyone thinks law school will ever be or should be a risk free investment. The major complaint is that the information about exactly how much risk someone is taking on should be more transparent, and perhaps reporting should be required to be more visible (to help protect people from their own ignorance).