Top Private Law Schools That Give The Biggest Discounts
It’s no secret that law school is a hefty investment. Borrowers now graduate with six-figure debt amounts on average. The surest way to pay off the seemingly insurmountable amounts of debt taken on is to get a high-paying legal job immediately after graduation. And the surest way to do that is to gain a degree from a top-notch school. The problem is, those are often the most expensive schools–and the most competitive for scholarship money, to boot.
So the U.S. News took the time to compile some essential data for a law school admissions decision. They examined tuition and fee amounts, living expenses, median grant amounts and percentage of students to get grants at 14 of the top 20 private schools. Perhaps the most important data point of the research is the total cost of attendance. To gain that figure, the U.S. News summed the total tuition and fees and cost of living for one year and then subtracted the median grant amount awarded at each school.
The lesson? The Midwest reigns supreme for quality private law degrees on the cheap. Washington University in St. Louis School of Law had the lowest cost of attendance at $44,326. The school is ranked 18th in the most recent U.S. News rankings. While 20th ranked Boston University followed with $47,802, two other Middle America campuses took the next two spots. Vanderbilt’s School of Law in Nashville, ranked 16th and Northwestern’s Pritzker School, ranked 12th, came in third and fourth with a cost of attendance of $53,366 and $54,904, respectively.
Perhaps most surprisingly, top-ranked Yale Law School was next on the cost of attendance list at fifth with a total of $55,329. At $78,326, the total tuition, fees and cost of living at Yale is one of the less expensive options. Not to mention, the school gives a median grant amount of $22,997. However, only a little more than half (59.6%) of Yale’s law students receive grants.
For the majority, the theory you get what you pay for seems to ring true. The higher the cost of attendance, the better ranked the school tends to be. For example, five of the bottom six schools in terms of cost of attendance are ranked in the top seven of U.S. News’ rankings. The outlier? Georgetown University’s Law Center. Despite being ranked 14th in the most recent U.S. News rankings, Georgetown has a price tag of $67,200 for the cost of attendance. The grant average is $20,000, but less than half (48.2%) actually receive a grant.
Also not surprisingly, Washington University has the largest median grant amount at $30,000. They also award more than 90% of their students some sort of grant. At the other end of the spectrum, the University of Chicago School of Law is the stingiest with their grant money with a median amount of just $15,000. Still, they give about three-quarters of their students grants. NYU’s School of Law gives the least amount of grants–awarding a mere 38.8% of their students grants.