Two years after Harvard Law School announced it would waive a year of tuition for students who pledged to work five years in the nonprofit sector or in government, the school has suspended the program, citing both the recession and a flood of students seeking to get in on the deal. — JCL

The New York Times:

Less than two years after announcing that it would waive tuition for third-year students who pledge to spend five years working for nonprofit organizations or for the government, Harvard Law School is suspending the program — in part because almost twice as many students as expected signed up.

“This was always an experiment and just one of many ways we were trying to encourage students to explore public interest careers,” said Martha Minow, the dean of the law school, adding, “What we found is that we had less trouble than we thought encouraging that.”

But the recession was also a factor. “It’s really a function of the endowment going down drastically,” said Robb London, the law school’s assistant dean for communications.

Harvard’s endowment declined 27 percent between June 2008 and June 2009, falling to $26 billion, and the university has adopted a number of cost-cutting moves. In fact, on Tuesday, Harvard’s largest division, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, announced a voluntary retirement plan for professors. Other schools will offer similar packages in the near future.

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