If anybody cares, the ABA announced Thursday that so far 13 schools have submitted corrections to their reports of the average level of total law school loans taken out by 2011 graduates (incorrectly referred to by the ABA, US News, and media sources as average debt data -- average graduate law school debt is actually 11% to 15% higher, since schools don't report interest accrued on loans), although according to a spokesman "some" of these corrections are "minor."
Some of the non-minor ones include:
Reported average loans: $27,423
Reported average loans: $41,190
Actual loans: $137,680
Reported average loans: $41,574
Actual loans: $67,598
It will be interesting to see what the final law school loan totals look
like if and when US News gets around to updating its website (the ABA
doesn't publish this data, but its estimate that public law school grads
took out loan averages of $75K obviously needs to be revised upwards).
Other schools whose average graduate law school loan totals almost certainly are going to end up being multiplied by roughly three: Georgia State, Southern, Texas Southern, and one I haven't mentioned before, Drexel.
When first covering this story I rather negligently ignored Drexel's extraordinarily low reported 2011 average graduate loan total of $33,562 because I had a vague memory that the school's first few classes got very big scholarships (the school opened in 2006). But then I checked the numbers and, after accounting for tuition discounts, the 2011 class still paid an average of nearly $20,000 per year in tuition. Plus the school estimates the nine-month cost of attendance as more than $23,000 per year. Given that the real cost of attendance at Temple is the same, and that Temple reported an average law school loan total of nearly $81,000 for its 2011 class, Drexel's real numbers are no doubt similar.
Rutgers-Camden and Drexel have done the same thing for at least three straight years, but the ABA (which actually means John O'Brien, et. al.) has already said it's going to take no action against any of these schools, since "sanctions are reserved for schools that make 'persistent and substantial misrepresentations,'" and apparently reporting egregiously fake data to the ABA for at least three straight years doesn't count.
BTW for all you law students and applicants out there, don't think for a moment this means you can "forget" to mention that minor in possession citation you got three years ago. You can be sure your character and what it reveals about your fitness for bar membership will continue to receive the most scrupulous attention from John O'Brien et. al.