During the past three years, the University of Iowa Law School has seen its entering law class drop from 180 new enrollees to 155 to 93 in 2013. Ouch. How did the school respond? It slashed tuition like Wal-Mart slashes prices. Tuition was reduced by 16% this fall. The result? The school enrolled 141 first-year students.
Dean Gale Agrawal said it wasn’t just the drop in tuition (although that probably played a large role), it was also “amped up” recruiting. This doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory in Iowa City: In 2004, the school enrolled 248 1Ls. But it is a huge step in the right direction, and it adds to a growing trend of law schools lowering tuition costs to attract more applicants.
This begs the question, what’s up in Berkeley? The flagship campus of the University of California’s public higher education system announced a tuition increase for its students starting next fall. An increase of 5.4% for in-state students and 5.3% for out-of-state students now makes tuition $54,091 for residents and $58,240 for non-residents. For the record, tuition at the University of Iowa is about $22,000 for residents.
A “ballooning” cost for faculty healthcare was the main reason given for the tuition increase. Increased staff size and the school’s underfunded pension plan were also mentioned as reasons for the tuition hike. Obviously, there should be concerns for revenue after recent cuts to state education spending. Nevertheless, Dean Sujit Choudhry says he is unconcerned with the funding of Berkeley Law as its funding includes a diverse range of funding sources.
The benefits of being a T14 school in a desirable place to live allow for such things. No offense to the University of Iowa or Iowa City (both a fine institution and city), but the Berkeley brand is sought after. Practicing in California is sought after. So, apparently, the school can continue to raise tuition without concern to dropping enrollment. Ah, to be a T14 school on a coast.
Source: Daily Californian
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen