December 18, 2017

Judge Kozinski retires

Law school transfer students

Jerry Organ updates his data for 2017.  Taking large numbers of transfer students--whose credentials are invisible to the US News ranking gods--can allow a school to take a smaller 1L class (whose credentials are reported to the ranking gods) while still generating tuition revenue.  Of course, not all schools take transfers for that reason, but the larger the numbers, the more likely that is part of the consideration.


December 18, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

December 14, 2017

A proposed limit on student loans for graduate education (other than medical)

I missed this story while I was travelling, but it is quite significant, since it would cap loans for, say, legal education at $28,500 per year, which will result, I expect, in a collapse in enrollments at some law schools and probably put some financial stress on all law schools to increase their own financial aid or limit tuition increases.  It may also push more students into the private loan market, though some private lenders may undertake more due diligence regarding the school for which the loan is to be utilized.

More details and information?  Comments are open; submit the comment only once, they may take awhile to appear.


December 14, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 07, 2017

Law school applications up about 15% nationwide compared to last year

Blog Emperor Caron summarizes the latest LSAC data.  I've heard from former students and colleagues at some state flagships that their applications are up even more.  Of course, applications fell by more than a third since 2010, and I doubt we will get back to those numbers, but it seems clear that things are stabilizing and even looking up for law school enrollments.


December 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 04, 2017

Stanford Business school claimed to be awarding only "need-based financial aid"...

...but they weren't.  Several law schools, including Stanford, make the same claim, and I suspect an analysis of the real data would show something similar.  Ever since we were fortunate to be able to award Rubinstein Scholarships to incoming students, I've been amused to discover how often Yale and Harvard find those students to be especially "needy." 


December 4, 2017 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

November 30, 2017

Law review articles influencing the Supreme Court

Articles by Matt Tokson (Utah), Will Baude (Chicago), and James Stern (William & Mary) were influencing the Justices yesterday when Carpenter was argued at SCOTUS; my colleague Lior Strahilevitz has the details


November 30, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 29, 2017

Republican Education Bill Would Boost Profits for Private Student Lenders and Raise Financing Costs for Students (Michael Simkovic)

House Republicans recently voted along party lines in favor of a tax bill that specifically targeted higher education institutions and students for tax hikes, while providing large tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals.  The Wall Street Journal reports that House Republicans are proposing an additional higher education bill that would make the terms of federal student loans less flexible and less generous and limit federal student loan availability.  Specifically, the bill would eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness and reduce the availability of flexible repayment plans for all borrowers. It would also cap maximum borrowing from the federal government at a lower level.

These measures, if enacted, would be a boon to private student lenders like Sallie Mae, who would be able to both increase their prices and increase their market share as federal student loans become less competitive and less available.  Consequently, expected financing costs for students will likely increase, to the detriment of both students and educational institutions.

According to a study by the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Education, loans to graduate and professional students are the most profitable in the government's portfolio--even after income based repayment and debt forgiveness.  Capping loans to these attractive borrowers may reduce the overall profitability of federal student lending, and pave the way for arguments for more cuts to federal lending in the future. 

The bill reportedly will also reduce regulation of for-profit college sales and marketing, and provide greater funding for 2-year degrees and apprenticeship programs.  Labor economists who have studied 2-year degrees and apprenticeship programs typically find that these programs provide relatively low benefits (in terms of increased earnings and employment) compared to 4-year college degrees and graduate degrees, even after accounting for differences in the costs of these programs and differences in student populations.  Thus, increasing funding for apprenticeships while reducing funding for 4-year degrees and advanced degrees is likely to impede economic growth.

These educational priorities, may however, provide Republicans with political advantages.  Political scientists and pollsters have found that as education levels increase--after controlling for income, race, sex, and age--individuals become more likely to identify as Democrats and less likely to identify as Republicans.  The association is particularly pronounced among scientists and others with graduate degrees.  


November 29, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

November 28, 2017

New York Bar results from July 2017 exam

Blog Emperor Caron collects the results.  Syracuse continues its outstanding performance, noted last year.  And St. John's sees a big improvement.


November 28, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 21, 2017

University of Illinois, Chicago exploring possibility of acquiring John Marshall Law School

Story here.  UIC has a medical school, but no law school, while John Marshall is a free-standing law school.  If the acquisition occurred, it would be the only public law school in Chicago, and, assuming there was some tuition discount for state residents, it would put particular pressure on private law schools in the city like DePaul and Chicago-Kent.


November 21, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 17, 2017

Erin Rousseau, MIT: House Republicans Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students (Michael Simkovic)

Following up on my previous post, Republican Tax Hikes Target Education

[U]nder the House’s tax bill, our waivers will be taxed. This means that M.I.T. graduate students would be responsible for paying taxes on an $80,000 annual salary, when we actually earn $33,000 a year. That’s an increase of our tax burden by at least $10,000 annually.

It would make meeting living expenses nearly impossible, barring all but the wealthiest students from pursuing a Ph.D. The students who will be hit hardest — many of whom will almost certainly have to leave academia entirely — are those from communities that are already underrepresented in higher education. . . .

The law would also decimate American competitiveness. . . . 

Graduate students are part of the hidden work force that drives some of the most important scientific and sociological advancements in the country. The American public benefits from it. Every dollar of basic research funded by the National Institutes of Health, for example, leads to a $1.70 output from biotechnology industries. The N.I.H. reports that the average American life span has increased by 30 years, in part, because of a better understanding of human health. I’d say that’s a pretty good return on investment for United States taxpayers."


November 17, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Science, Weblogs | Permalink