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It's sad enough when one prospective law student gets rejected, but when the entire law school gets rejected it's cause for mass depression.
That's what's happening at Valparaiso University Law School. The struggling law school was on its way to Middle Tennessee State University, but then the state's higher education commission suddenly turned it down.
Valparaiso expressed "disappointment in the decision," but it's really worse than that. For 235 law students, it may be the end of the road.
Due to "severe financial challenges" and falling enrollment, Valparaiso suspended admissions for the fall of 2018. The law school was caught in the same death spiral that has taken down other law schools in recent years.
It looked like Valparaiso wouldn't make it either, but administrators found a way out -- they thought. They worked out a deal to transfer to Middle Tennessee that some called basically a "gift."
The university really wanted it, too, because Valparaiso would have been the only public law school in the area. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission, however, didn't want it.
"THEC's decision denies a legal education to Nashville-area students financially unable to attend an expensive, nearby accredited private institution or unable to relocate to a public institution hundreds of miles away in Knoxville or Memphis," MTSU President Sidney McPhee said.
Despite the setback, law school officials said they would make sure current students would be able to complete their legal education in a timely manner.
Valpo Law is one of four law schools in Indiana, and the only one in the northwest region of the state. The good news for the remaining students is, at least they won't have to drive to Tennessee to finish their degrees.
Update: Shortly after this article was published, Valparaiso University announced that it plans to shut down its law school.