Florida Coastal Students Rank Below State Average in Bar Passage | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

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In the first Florida bar exam since the Florida Coastal School of Law lost its eligibility for federal student loans, eight of its 15 graduates who took the test passed.

This 53.3% pass rate is lower than the 71.6% average for graduates from all Florida law schools.

In August, Florida Coastal canceled admissions for the fall term and suspended classes. As part of a training plan approved by the American Bar Association in June, FCSL students are transferred to other law schools to graduate.

The Department of Education terminated Florida Coastal’s eligibility for the Title IV program in March after the department informed the school that it did not meet the financial, fiduciary, and other standards required to participate in the federal student loan programs.

In April, Florida Coastal applied for reinstatement but was refused.

The cost of tuition, fees, and books in Florida Coastal was around $ 42,000 per year for its traditional three-year program, according to the school’s website, which is active but says it doesn’t ‘enrolled no students.

The school filed a complaint in July against the Department of Education, alleging that the department overstepped and abused its authority and acted arbitrarily and without due process in terminating the Florida Coastal program participation agreement. in the student loan program.

In August, a federal judge in Jacksonville dismissed Florida Coastal’s emergency petition for a restraining order that would have temporarily restored the school’s access to the Title IV program.

The trial remains open in the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville.

The note on the ABA teaching plan states that Florida Coastal accreditation will continue until July 1, 2023, with the limited purpose of allowing the school to receive credits from currently enrolled students earned in as transitional students in other law schools approved by the ABA and to issue a Florida Coastal JD degree to those students who qualify for graduation from the school.

The ABA retains the authority to withdraw accreditation from Florida Coastal before July 1, 2023, if the school’s state license to issue a JD degree is withdrawn or terminated, or if the school does not comply with the one of the obligations she has accepted in teaching. plan.

In Florida Coastal, the ABA exam began in February 2017, when only 25% of its graduates passed the Florida bar exam.

The ABA conducted a 27-month investigation to determine whether Florida Coastal met accreditation standards for admission requirements and curriculum.

That investigation ended in February 2020 when the ABA found the school to meet standards that ensure law schools are financially sound, a requirement for accreditation.

The denial of the student loan program was the latest in a series of events that began 17 years ago when Florida Coastal became a member of the InfiLaw consortium of for-profit law schools.

Sterling Capital, a private equity firm based in Naples, Florida, bought Florida Coastal in 2004 and at the same time created the InfiLaw system.

InfiLaw then founded the Phoenix School of Law, later renamed Arizona Summit School of Law, in 2004 and the Charlotte School of Law in 2006.

All three schools have had issues with the ABA and the Department of Education over admission standards, below-average bar exam pass rates, and high levels of student debt held by graduates , combined with below-average employment in bar percentages and income levels.

The ABA put the Arizona Summit on probation for violating ABA academic and admissions standards in March 2016. The school launched a learning plan when its accreditation was withdrawn in July 2018. It has closed in May 2020.

Charlotte School of Law was placed on probation in November 2016 for violating the admission standards required for ABA accreditation. The federal student aid office cut him off the student loan program a month later.

Charlotte School of Law closed in August 2017.

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