CHARLOTTE — Tiffany Bolling was one of the lucky ones. She graduated from Charlotte School of Law and passed the bar. Still, the turmoil surrounding her alma mater haunts her.
"We have to work twice as hard to prove that we are qualified to be attorneys more than other attorneys," she said.
Charlotte School of Law closed last year after it was put on probation, and later lost its funding. Hundreds of students fell into debt, and sued. Now, former students, including Bolling, say they are disheartened to learn the federal investigative team assigned to protect them from for-profit schools - like Charlotte School of Law - is downsizing its staff.
"It's very much like a slap in the face to us," she said.
The Department of Education has yet to say why it made the change, but Gary Jackson, the attorney repenting the former CSL students, says it likely education secretary Betsy Devos supports for-profit schools.
"It's a disturbing development," he offered.
Channel 9's past coverage of Charlotte School of Law troubles:
- Charlotte School of Law students wait for relief months after campus closes
- American Bar Association places Charlotte School of Law on probation
- Charlotte School of Law loses federal student aid
- Charlotte School of Law funding troubles leave students in limbo
- Recent bar exam scores lowest in history at Charlotte School of Law
- NC attorney general investigates Charlotte School of Law
- Charlotte School of Law receiving federal aid again
- Charlotte School of Law can't admit new students until further notice
Jackson said the Department of Education cut the investigation team from 12 to just 3. Instead of looking into for-profit fraud, they'll be focusing on loan forgiveness.
"We have 200 plus clients. Many have made, most have made, applications for loan forgiveness and have heard nothing," said Jackson.
Jackson said while the shift may lead to a better loan forgiveness process, it doesn't erase the fact that for-profit schools will have less federal oversight.
Charlotte School of Law is now suing the American Bar Association. The lawsuit claims the Bar Association abused its accreditation authority - setting off the chain of events that led the school's closing.
Jackson told us that if the school wins, the money should go to the former students.
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