Each week in The Forum, read Hatchet opinions editors’ takes on what stood out this week at GW and in D.C.
When the University Counseling Center announced last month that it would invest new funding in specialized counselors, it begged the question: Shouldn’t the UCC using an expanded budget to help add free sessions for in need?
But the UCC’s decision to consolidate its resources with the other four mental health centers on campus is a positive cooperative effort that comes at an important time. It’ll likely mean that wait times will decrease, and more students will have access to mental health resources.
Although it is odd that it is has taken this long for these five centers to work together, it is nonetheless an important step in broadening the UCC’s purview, aiding its operations and making the center better known to students at GW.
It was initially frustrating that the UCC chose to invest in specialized counselors rather than working to smooth out the kinks in its current operations – cutting wait times, eliminating the 12-week cap on counseling visits, bolstering the center’s presence on campus. But a step toward coordination could be a step toward solutions.
Colleges need tuition in order to operate, making the 22 percent jump in the GW Law School’s enrollment positive news. But though this increase may benefit the University, it is potentially harmful to its students.
Increasing debt and decreasing job prospects make this a dismal time for law school graduates. And GW is only further perpetuating this problem by increasing its acceptance rates, encouraging even more hardships.
In 2012, 84 percent of GW law graduates graduated with debt, owing an average of $128,314, according to U.S. News & World Report.
And job prospects for law students aren’t very bright, making this exorbitant debt only more problematic. A National Association for Law Placement survey revealed that less than half of GW Law School Class of 2012 graduates worked in full-time, salaried positions, presenting an ominous employment situation for the years to come.
By accepting more students than can’t reasonably find jobs, GW is setting its students up for growing debt at a time when the majority of law schools across the nation saw enrollment decrease.
And if GW reduced its admissions standards to draw in more students this year, it could have a negative impact on the law school’s U.S. News ranking. Not only is it likely they graduate with debt and difficulty finding employment, but their alma mater’s ranking could fall hard, which reflects poorly on their education and decreases the value of their degree.
This may be a smart business decision as it will bring in more tuition revenue, but in the long run it pays little consideration to students.