Everybody knows how expensive law schools are. Along with medical, these are some of the priciest degrees available in the USA. Many students and their families get terrified at the financial consequences of attending a law school, but it shouldn’t be like that. With a suffering economy and a steady drop at grad schools enrollment, modern legal schools can be reasonable. It all depends on what kind of affordability you are looking for.
What makes a law school cheap?
There’s really no such thing as cheapest law schools, but there are schools that know how not to overspend on their facilities and staff. Such schools will have significantly lower tuition fees, which is a major factor for many students while choosing the law school. Enrolling there you will know for sure that your family doesn’t go broke during your studies.
Then again there are colleges and universities whose tuition is at the top of the law school rating list. But when you look more closely, they charge a reasonable amount of money for the education they provide while maintaining a high quality of graduates, which is reflected on their salary. This means that if you choose to go to one of these law schools, it will take you less time to repay your student debt after graduating.
Elite law schools offer a quicker return on investment
Harvard, Stanford and Yale won’t be the first educational institutions to come into your mind when you are thinking about cheapest law schools. But the truth is, their reputation and strong alumni connections do offer a steady employment rate of over 90% with a median private salary at about $160,000 per year.
Cost of Tuition and Fees for Law Degrees
Source: U.S. News Data
So if you qualify and aren’t afraid of taking student loans, there are high chances that you will be better off paying your loans and earning big dollars later if you go to the TOP 15 law schools in the country. Another proof that top legal schools are a better choice for your money, is one of the biggest number of scholarships they give out to their students.
The most cost-friendly law schools
Another approach to finding the cheapest law school with decent degree is to look at the tuition they charge in comparison to the benefits they offer. In this regard public state universities, such as Florida and Louisiana State University, University of Alabama and Arkansas offer decent education for lower fees.
Best Value Law Schools
Source: The National Jurist
With government support and second place on the scholarship rating, going to your own state university is a good option for your legal career. In fact, public schools are the only ones that tend to drop their tuition costs in response to lower student interest and can boast of a good network of employers and alumni in the region.
Choosing a law school isn’t simply a matter of tuition cost. Your education is an investment into your future and it’s especially true about legal diploma more than many others. When considering a law school, make sure you take everything into account: tuition cost, employment ratio (and what kind of employment they include into that number), scholarship opportunities (and scholarship retention), bar passage ratio and additional benefits.
To put it in a nutshell, if you are in the top of your class and in the top 75th percentile on both your GPA and LSAT scores, then getting a scholarship with an elite law schools should be your number one choice. Your second best option would be to choose a good public school, preferably in your state, and get a good legal degree there.