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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

University of Tulsa addresses student loan debt with ALES

Higher education remains an important part of future plans for a lot of eager students. It is the final step before they can really step out into the world, start a career and build a family. That dream hasn’t gone away, but certain conditions have made the transitional period between school and career much more difficult.

Tuition started increasing exponentially as the economy began to peak. A degree may have been expensive a decade ago, but it was doable. The big problem is that when the economy took a nose-dive into the recession, tuition continued to rise. More students today are struggling under the burden of student loan debt with an entry-level job that barely covers the payments.

The University of Tulsa law school understands that something has to give, and its solution is to take part in a scholarship program that would make a legal education in Oklahoma more affordable.

The Access to Legal Education Scholarship program provides students who want to earn a juris doctorate with an $18,000 scholarship per year to make it happen. The first year, those funds are free. Then, the student must remain in good academic standing to receive the sum each following year. In the end, each student could shave off over $50,000 from the debt total he or she would have walked away with.

For TU administrators, the goal is to make it easier for students to provide legal counsel in rural areas and other underserved populations. TU law school Dean Janet Levit said “The ALES program directly responds to rising tuition, mounting student debt and a challenging job market for law school graduates.”

What makes student loan debt such a concern? It is unlike other kinds of debt in that it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. There are, however, ways to reduce the debt into a manageable payment plan and address other types of debt in an individual’s name. A successful debt solution requires individualized attention, which is why anyone facing overwhelming debt should consult with a Tulsa bankruptcy attorney.

Source: Tulsa World, “TU law school to offer $18,000 annual scholarship,” Tim Stanley, Feb. 26, 2014

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