Which matters more: a law school’s prestige or its scholarship offerings?
To law students, attending a top-tier school is still top priority, according to a new Kaplan survey of 637 students who took the LSAT in June.
About 40 percent of those surveyed said they’d rather be accepted by a highly-ranked school but receive no offer of financial aid, compared to 16 percent who would prefer to receive a full ride to a lower-tier school.
Most students, however, wanted the best of both worlds — the ideal situation would be a half-scholarship to a mid-tier school, according to 46 percent of respondents in the survey, which was first reported by the National Law Journal.
Students who choose the higher-cost option are making an “economic calculation” that their choice to attend a top school will pay off in future earnings, said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan.
Last year, the average cost of tuition at public law schools was $23,879 per year for in-state students and $36,859 for students from out of state, according to the American Bar Association, compared to $41,984 per year at private law schools.
In Maryland, the figures were a little higher: Tuition for the 2013-14 school year at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law was $25,432 for in-state students and $37,514 for students from out of state. At the University of Baltimore School of Law, the cost was $26,884 for in-state students and $39,538 for out-of-state.