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Survey: Pre-law students value rankings over aid

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.


One comment


    The National Law Journal must have some underworked interns. Who needed a survey to know that long term thinkers value quality over cost, short term thinkers value cost over quality, out-of-touch dreamers want the best of both worlds, and none of these groups is a majority of the student population. It’s actually kind of encouraging to learn that the cohort of long term thinkers is as large as it is, and no surprise to be told that the largest single cohort is out-of-touch dreamers. The American undergraduate education system may not be the disaster it’s often made out to be. The only real news in the story (at least to me), is that UB costs more than Maryland. Talk about compounding a felony.