WASHINGTON - A DESPERATE US student who is up to his eyeballs in debt, about to become a father and has little hope of finding a job when he graduates next year, has offered to quit law school in exchange for a full tuition refund.

'With fatherhood impending, I go to bed every night terrified of the thought of trying to provide for my child AND paying off my JD,' or Juris Doctor degree, the unnamed student said in an open letter to the dean of Boston College Law School (BC Law), where annual tuition is more than US$40,000 (S$51,910).

'I'd like to propose a solution to this problem: I am willing to leave law school, without a degree, at the end of this semester. In return, I would like a full refund of the tuition I've paid over the last two and a half years,' he wrote in the letter dated Oct 15, and posted online.

After his early exit from law school, the student said he would return to his previous career in teaching and be able to provide for his new family 'without the crushing weight of my law school loans'. His departure would also benefit BC Law 'since you will not have to report my unemployment at graduation to US News', a magazine that compiles much-read annual rankings of US universities.

BC Law replied in its own open letter, dated Oct22, that it was 'deeply concerned about the prospects of our students and our recent graduates' in a legal job market that has been severely affected by the economic downturn. There was no indication, however, that the law school took up the student's offer and refunded his tuition.

US law students borrowed on average US$31,800 from any source in the 2007-08 school year and took out US$29,400 in federal loans, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The payback for their investment is supposed to come when they get their degree and are recruited by a law firm, where they could earn in excess of US$100,000 in their first year.

Keep my degree, refund tuition