Law Schools Could Be Misleading The Public About Grads’ Massive Debt

Student Loan Debt Protest

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U.S. News & World Report is revisiting its recent ratings about law school debt after some schools admitted they misreported their numbers.The American Bar Association and U.S. News collect data about law schools, such as tuition figures and how much debt graduates have upon leaving school.

And now “a number of law schools” have reported inaccuracies in the debt figures they provided to both organisations, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Wednesday.

The controversy erupted when Law Blog contacted Barry Law School in Orlando, Fla., about a debt figure printed in U.S. News’ annual rankings.

The law school told U.S. News and the ABA average debt load for the class of 2011 hovered around $41,190.

That low number prompted U.S. News to add the school to its top 10 list of law schools whose graduates have the least debt, according to Law Blog.

But when Law Blog inquired further, Barry said the actual debt amount for 2011 is closer to $137,680. That number is the total debt accumulated after three years of study, as opposed to the debt of just the last year of school.

Associate Dean For Student Affairs Amy Lefkowitz told Law Blog the error was unintentional and the school had contacted the ABA. However, according to Lefkowitz, the school hadn’t requested a correction from U.S. News.

University of Kansas School of Law and Rutgers School of Law — Camden are among the other schools that have corrected debt numbers.

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