The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it would block federal student aid funds to Charlotte School of Law as of Dec. 31, a major blow to the viability of the for-profit institution.
The American Bar Association placed the law school on probation last month, citing its failure to comply with standards that a program only admit applicants likely to succeed and pass the bar exam.
The department noted Charlotte's failure to comply with its accreditor's standards as well the department's regulations. And it said the law school had made substantial misrepresentations to students about the program's accreditation and the likelihood of graduates to pass the bar exam.
“The ABA repeatedly found that the Charlotte School of Law does not prepare students for participation in the legal profession. Yet CSL continuously misrepresented itself to current and prospective students as hitting the mark,” Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said in a statement. “CSL’s actions were misleading and dishonest. We can no longer allow them continued access to federal student aid.”
The law school received $48.5 million in federal student last year, mostly from federal student loans. The program has until Jan. 3 to submit evidence to dispute the findings of the department.
A statement released by the law school to The Charlotte Observer said that the institution had "no warning" that the action was about to be taken, nor an opportunity to discuss the penalties with federal officials. The statement added that the law school would respond to the federal complaint and "protect our students."
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