A perfectly legal scam: How Georgetown Law gets taxpayers to pay its students’ bills

“In Washington, the scandal isn’t what’s illegal; the scandal is what’s legal” – Michael Kinsley Georgetown_University cc

This is pretty amazing. Basically the US taxpayer foots the entire bill for many Georgetown Law students, over $160,000 dollars on average. It’s all legal, but it sure seems like it shouldn’t be.

This is a prestigious (Bill Clinton went to Georgetown) private institution, using taxpayer dollars to subsidize not only their professors’ salaries but the income of their soon to be alumni who will likely make large sums as attorneys over the life of their careers.

It’s not right. But that’s crony capitalism.

(From The Washington Post)

Upon first glance, it looks like what’s happening is that Georgetown is paying for part of the cost of law school and the federal government is forgiving the rest. But as Jason Delisle and Alex Holt at the New America Foundation discovered, Georgetown’s cleverer than that. The tuition paid by new students — tuition they’re often paying with federal loans — includes the cost of covering the previous students’ loan payments. So Georgetown is ultimately paying its share with money its students borrow from the federal government. The feds are paying back themselves. At no step in the process does Georgetown actually have to pay anything. The feds (taxpayers*) are picking up the entire bill.

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