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Two Law Schools Added to the Dept. of Ed.'s Hit List for 2016

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on January 06, 2016 5:59 AM

Do you remember Thomas Jefferson School of Law? It had been the unfortunate subject of less than flattering allegations of puffing up employment figures. Guess what? Now it and another school have landed on the DOE's financial monitoring hit-list because of those questionable practices.

We opined and responded to two stories of previous Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grads -- Clark Moffat and Nikki Nguyen -- who decided to bring legal action against the Alma Mater because they were led to believe that being a Victoria Secret sales clerk was actually legal employment.

Room for Two More?

Actually, it's a little unfair of us to focus exclusively on Thomas Jefferson School of Law, although it has been the focus of a lot of negative press lately. Two other schools have actually joined TJSL in the odious distinction of being watched for "financial irresponsibility": Charleston School of Law and Ave Maria School of Law.

In fact, Ave Maria has been on the list of educational institutions subject to heightened financial monitoring since March of last year as part of an overall department push for greater accountability at schools. Now, as of December of 2015, TJSL and Charleston School of Law have landed on the DOE's "heightened cash monitoring list."

The Process

Under the DOE's heightened financial monitoring, the law schools will potentially face three tiers of financial scrutiny which will determine how onerous their reporting requirements will be.

The lower two tiers simply subject the schools to increased review of how they managed their financials. But if placed in the heighest tier, the schools will first have to put cash on the barrelhead for student loan payments before then can qualify for reimbursement from the federal government.

Charleston Speaks

At least one of the school's public agents has made a public statement over the list. Charleston's Ed Bell opined that inclusion on the list is actually based on old 2014 news. Enrollment in that school took a nose-dive when the for-profit InfiniLaw Corporation sought to buy Charleston. Students opposed the sale. When Bell (an attorney, by the way) purchased Charleston, he said he had plans to convert the school into a non-profit.

In August Company

The DOE's Heightened Cash Monitoring list includes as many as 540 other universities and colleges, technical schools, and even culinary schools.

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