Cost of attendance
In-depth analysis on law school costs including tuition, grants, debt, cost of living and more.
Net Tuition for U.S. Law Schools
Net tuition, or the average price paid, has fallen in recent years on average, but the changes vary wildly up and down at different schools.
Net tuition is the average amount paid by all students during an academic year. Unlike nominal tuition, net tuition accounts for price discrimination, i.e. different students pay a different price. For the 2019-2020 academic year, 22.3% paid full price. The remaining 77.7% had a tuition discount, whether merit-based (LSAT, GPA, and under-represented status are the most common factors) or need-based (increasingly rare). Some of these discounts are conditional, thus not guaranteed from year to year.
Since 2012, the average net tuition at public law schools has declined, despite nominal tuition increasing on average. This is due to increased discounting. However, not all law schools have seen net tuition decrease over that time. Net tuition change has varied wildly, as shown below. At private law schools, net tuition declined several years in a row. Last year, however, net tuition increased.
Top 5 increases in private schools (2012-13 to 2019-20)
|Baylor University||+51.4%$25.1k $38k|
|Brooklyn Law School||+33.1%$26.3k $34.9k|
|Southern Methodist University||+31.4%$25.4k $33.4k|
|University of Chicago||+30.3%$41.6k $54.1k|
|Boston College||+29.8%$31k $40.2k|
Top 5 decreases in private schools (2012-13 to 2019-20)
|University of Dayton||-54.8%$28k $12.7k|
|Northeastern University||-47.5%$35.8k $18.8k|
|Washington University in St Louis||-44.4%$29.5k $16.4k|
|Regent University||-37.4%$25.7k $16.1k|
|Albany Law School||-35.6%$35.5k $22.9k|
Top 5 increases in public schools (2012-13 to 2019-20)
|Texas Southern University||+79.7%$11.7k $21k|
|University of North Dakota||+71.6%$8.9k $15.2k|
|Southern University Law Center||+68.4%$10.5k $17.7k|
|Northern Kentucky University||+60.9%$10.8k $17.4k|
|West Virginia University||+55.7%$9.8k $15.3k|
Top 5 decreases in public schools (2012-13 to 2019-20)
|Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law||-92.2%$32.1k $2.5k|
|George Mason University||-80.6%$23.1k $4.5k|
|Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law||-79.7%$32.1k $6.5k|
|University of Illinois||-72.6%$20.7k $5.7k|
|University of Arizona||-67.4%$18.4k $6k|
School-specific tuition and scholarship data come from the American Bar Association. Net tuition is an estimate based on nominal full-time tuition and full-time scholarship data. The estimates at public law schools are higher than reality because net tuition was calculated using resident tuition at public schools. In order to more accurately estimate net tuition, scholarship data, as well as enrollment data, would need to distinguish between residents and non-residents. LST uses normal averages rather than weighted averages for the group averages.