Law School Costs

A conditional scholarship is any financial aid award, the retention of which is dependent upon the student maintaining a minimum grade point average or class standing, other than that ordinarily required to remain in good academic standing.

Fewer schools offer conditional scholarships compared to previous years, likely for a few reasons. First, the ABA forced schools beginning in 2013 to disclose the number of first-year students who received and who lost some or all of the scholarship's value after the first year. Second, prospective law students were increasingly advised that scholarship stipulations are negotiable. Third, conditional scholarships received negative publicity in the press, at academic conferences, and in legal scholarship. The chart below shows the change between 2011 and 2016. It also shows a decline in the percentage of students who lost scholarship value.

Several notable patterns emerge when grouping law schools based on whether they offer conditional scholarships. On the front end, students who attend schools with conditional scholarships have significantly lower LSAT scores. The average median LSAT at schools with conditional scholarships is lower than the 25th percentile LSAT at schools without conditional scholarships. On the back end, graduates from schools with conditional scholarships find full-time, long-term legal jobs at a substantially lower rate than their peers at schools that do not offer them. Potentially, both patterns reflect school reputation. Regardless, students at schools with conditional scholarships are more likely to fail the bar and less likely to obtain gainful employment.

Schools 2016 Legal Job Rate Fall 2017 LSAT
25th 50th
Conditional Scholarships 55.5% 14940.3 percentile 15252.2 percentile
No Conditional Scholarships 67.3% 15455.6 percentile 15770.9 percentile

The table below provides school-specific data for the number of new students, the number (and percentage) of those students who received a conditional scholarship, and the percentage of conditional scholarship recipients that had their award either reduced or eliminated. This may understate the actual percentage. Students with conditional scholarships who (a) withdrew from law school voluntarily or (b) took a leave of absence prior to a determination of whether they would have met the renewal condition for their scholarships or (c) had their conditional scholarship reduced or eliminated after the first year are not deemed to have lost their scholarships and are treated as having retained their scholarships.

Note Some law schools with conditional scholarship programs also offer some scholarships on a non-conditional basis and/or offer some need-based assistance.

School State 2016-2017 2015-2016 2014-2015
1Ls Had CS Lost CS 1Ls Had CS Lost CS 1Ls Had CS Lost CS
University of Akron OH 158 - - 146 - - 116 - -
University of Alabama AL 133 - - 153 130 (85%) 35.4% 134 102 (76.1%) 26.5%
Albany Law School NY 146 97 (66.4%) 26.8% 126 62 (49.2%) 29% 117 42 (35.9%) 28.6%
American University DC 463 7 (1.5%) 0% 421 5 (1.2%) 0% 429 5 (1.2%) 0%
Appalachian School of Law VA 38 19 (50%) 31.6% 33 20 (60.6%) 35% 48 22 (45.8%) 45.5%
University of Arizona AZ 102 - - 101 - - 104 - -
Arizona Summit Law School AZ 143 86 (60.1%) 34.9% 267 186 (69.7%) 39.2% 262 159 (60.7%) 39.6%
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville AR 116 65 (56%) 55.4% 121 56 (46.3%) 64.3% 125 12 (9.6%) 33.3%
University of Arkansas - Little Rock AR 139 97 (69.8%) 35.1% 118 65 (55.1%) 24.6% 125 65 (52%) 24.6%
Arizona State University AZ 228 - - 215 - - 143 - -
Ave Maria School of Law FL 88 75 (85.2%) 41.3% 113 88 (77.9%) 33% 112 89 (79.5%) 34.8%
University of Baltimore MD 208 114 (54.8%) 17.5% 200 112 (56%) 25.9% 233 89 (38.2%) 34.8%
Barry University FL 195 170 (87.2%) 37.6% 278 179 (64.4%) 33.5% 268 128 (47.8%) 41.4%
Baylor University TX 140 126 (90%) 0% 131 113 (86.3%) 15% 158 106 (67.1%) 17%
Boston College MA 247 - - 234 - - 230 - -
Belmont University TN 104 38 (36.5%) 36.8% 89 18 (20.2%) 44.4% 89 38 (42.7%) 28.9%
University of California - Berkeley CA 301 - - 294 - - 274 - -
Brooklyn Law School NY 348 328 (94.3%) 19.2% 394 311 (78.9%) 15.4% 399 272 (68.2%) 16.5%
Boston University MA 257 - - 236 - - 208 - -
SUNY Buffalo NY 140 - - 141 - - 143 - -
Brigham Young University UT 138 - - 128 - - 126 56 (44.4%) 62.5%
California Western School of Law CA 273 259 (94.9%) 22.8% 248 249 (100.4%) 11.6% 263 219 (83.3%) 11%
Campbell University NC 122 - - 162 - - 185 - -
Capital University OH 126 111 (88.1%) 31.5% 131 90 (68.7%) 17.8% 163 92 (56.4%) 22.8%
Cardozo-Yeshiva University NY 307 - - 288 178 (61.8%) 14% 339 160 (47.2%) 10%
Case Western Reserve University OH 144 - - 122 - - 146 - -
Catholic University of America DC 123 15 (12.2%) 0% 127 - - 140 - -
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico PR 133 112 (84.2%) 20.5% 195 114 (58.5%) 24.6% 148 84 (56.8%) 22.6%
Chapman University CA 190 109 (57.4%) 43.1% 149 106 (71.1%) 50.9% 169 112 (66.3%) 34.8%
Charleston School of Law SC 215 - - 85 14 (16.5%) 21.4% 166 68 (41%) 22.1%
Charlotte School of Law NC - - 309 264 (85.4%) 58.7% 446 337 (75.6%) 59.9%
University of Chicago IL 185 - - 183 - - 190 - -
University of Cincinnati OH 126 - - 101 - - 73 - -
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law OH 98 45 (45.9%) 20% 108 78 (72.2%) 44.9% 141 - -
University of Colorado CO 170 - - 204 - - 166 - -
Columbia University NY 391 - - 388 - - 381 - -
Concordia University School of Law ID 44 - - 18 - - - -
Thomas M Cooley Law School MI 415 - - 448 - - 445 - -
Cornell University NY 194 - - 203 - - 203 - -
Creighton University NE 108 - - 119 36 (30.3%) 41.7% 114 39 (34.2%) 23.1%
CUNY NY 193 26 (13.5%) 0% 151 32 (21.2%) 0% 97 24 (24.7%) 0%
University of California - Davis CA 156 - - 180 - - 164 - -
University of Dayton OH 113 90 (79.6%) 28.9% 90 65 (72.2%) 26.2% 113 71 (62.8%) 40.8%
University of Denver CO 247 132 (53.4%) 11.4% 250 149 (59.6%) 14.8% 258 129 (50%) 12.4%
DePaul University IL 248 - - 241 - - 226 - -
University of Detroit Mercy MI 200 59 (29.5%) 30.5% 196 49 (25%) 14.3% 199 51 (25.6%) 29.4%
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law PA 58 - - 64 - - - -
Drake University IA 107 41 (38.3%) 61% 100 44 (44%) 47.7% 106 43 (40.6%) 48.8%
Drexel University PA 130 59 (45.4%) 27.1% 126 46 (36.5%) 39.1% 129 68 (52.7%) 41.2%
Duke University NC 221 - - 225 - - 221 - -
Duquesne University PA 123 - - 128 - - 124 - -
Elon Law School NC 128 23 (18%) 0% 133 17 (12.8%) 0% 112 17 (15.2%) 0%
Emory University GA 261 - - 234 - - 223 - -
Florida A&M University FL 151 1 (0.7%) 0% 159 1 (0.6%) 0% 152 3 (2%) 0%
Faulkner University AL 92 66 (71.7%) 21.2% 101 42 (41.6%) 4.8% 113 55 (48.7%) 14.5%
Florida International University FL 146 76 (52.1%) 42.1% 136 64 (47.1%) 39.1% 144 55 (38.2%) 41.8%
University of Florida FL 314 - - 310 - - 307 - -
Florida Coastal School of Law FL 235 147 (62.6%) 36.7% 320 249 (77.8%) 30.9% 424 265 (62.5%) 47.9%
Fordham University NY 399 - - 373 - - 367 - -
Florida State University FL 153 1 (0.7%) 0% 175 1 (0.6%) 0% 188 - -
University of Georgia GA 178 - - 189 - - 185 - -
George Mason University VA 179 33 (18.4%) 15.2% 157 136 (86.6%) 31.6% 161 138 (85.7%) 49.3%
Golden Gate University CA 148 87 (58.8%) 57.5% 117 106 (90.6%) 57.5% 137 97 (70.8%) 60.8%
Gonzaga University WA 103 102 (99%) 22.5% 127 126 (99.2%) 19.8% 125 124 (99.2%) 20.2%
Georgia State University GA 201 - - 189 - - 186 - -
Georgetown University DC 576 - - 576 - - 580 - -
George Washington University DC 458 - - 471 - - 539 - -
Hamline University MN - - - - 90 87 (96.7%) 1.1%
Harvard University MA 563 - - 562 - - 563 - -
University of California - Hastings CA 348 8 (2.3%) 12.5% 289 10 (3.5%) 10% 323 6 (1.9%) 0%
University of Hawaii HI 83 - - 85 - - 120 - -
Hofstra University NY 223 177 (79.4%) 52.5% 251 196 (78.1%) 52.6% 280 231 (82.5%) 55%
University of Houston TX 211 - - 215 - - 231 - -
Howard University DC 145 61 (42.1%) 14.8% 143 66 (46.2%) 36.4% 126 73 (57.9%) 67.1%
University of Idaho ID 98 75 (76.5%) 28% 105 57 (54.3%) 36.8% 113 66 (58.4%) 22.7%
University of Illinois IL 137 - - 162 - - 157 - -
Indiana University - Bloomington IN 178 - - 153 - - 183 - -
Indiana University - Indianapolis IN 253 149 (58.9%) 20.1% 254 125 (49.2%) 7.2% 281 140 (49.8%) 13.6%
Inter American University PR 193 - - 208 - - 241 2 (0.8%) 50%
University of Iowa IA 135 - - 141 - - 141 - -
University of California - Irvine CA 140 - - 123 - - 89 - -
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta GA 195 150 (76.9%) 62.7% 239 145 (60.7%) 73.8% 214 203 (94.9%) 71.4%
John Marshall Law School - Chicago IL 282 147 (52.1%) 44.9% 334 182 (54.5%) 38.5% 357 214 (59.9%) 37.9%
University of Kansas KS 107 68 (63.6%) 30.9% 126 90 (71.4%) 23.3% 125 80 (64%) 21.3%
Chicago-Kent College of Law IL 241 - - 238 - - 228 - -
University of Kentucky KY 179 - - 113 - - 114 58 (50.9%) 15.5%
University of La Verne CA 116 - - 95 - - 58 - -
Lewis and Clark College OR 174 - - 172 - - 203 133 (65.5%) 8.3%
Liberty University VA 64 63 (98.4%) 1.6% 51 50 (98%) 0% 84 82 (97.6%) 0%
Lincoln Memorial University TN 61 - - 50 45 (90%) 8.9% - -
University of Louisville KY 111 - - 115 - - 92 - -
Loyola University Chicago IL 248 - - 206 - - 231 - -
Loyola Marymount University CA 306 206 (67.3%) 20.4% 268 190 (70.9%) 16.3% 312 204 (65.4%) 17.6%
Loyola University New Orleans LA 172 89 (51.7%) 13.5% 153 93 (60.8%) 21.5% 139 117 (84.2%) 17.1%
Louisiana State University LA 198 195 (98.5%) 32.3% 172 154 (89.5%) 27.9% 200 187 (93.5%) 34.8%
University of Maine ME 76 - - 79 - - 81 - -
Marquette University WI 190 - - 178 - - 208 - -
University of Maryland MD 198 - - 204 - - 196 - -
University of Memphis TN 110 24 (21.8%) 29.2% 116 19 (16.4%) 36.8% 118 31 (26.3%) 41.9%
Mercer University GA 144 - - 125 - - 146 - -
University of Miami FL 291 175 (60.1%) 5.7% 306 182 (59.5%) 5.5% 229 145 (63.3%) 8.3%
University of Michigan MI 305 - - 267 - - 318 - -
University of Minnesota MN 176 - - 174 - - 193 161 (83.4%) 0%
University of Mississippi MS 108 - - 145 - - 128 - -
Mississippi College MS 135 - - 122 - - 151 - -
University of Missouri - Columbia MO 104 59 (56.7%) 20.3% 106 62 (58.5%) 12.9% 115 56 (48.7%) 26.8%
University of Missouri - Kansas City MO 122 6 (4.9%) 16.7% 140 - - 149 58 (38.9%) 1.7%
Mitchell Hamline School of Law MN 338 - - - - - -
University of Montana MT 76 41 (53.9%) 19.5% 71 3 (4.2%) 0% 83 - -
Michigan State University MI 259 230 (88.8%) 16.1% 280 231 (82.5%) 20.3% 248 183 (73.8%) 16.4%
North Carolina Central University NC 183 - - 199 13 (6.5%) 46.2% 199 16 (8%) 25%
University of Nebraska NE 132 - - 102 57 (55.9%) 26.3% 107 60 (56.1%) 18.3%
New England School of Law MA 172 127 (73.8%) 20.5% 198 112 (56.6%) 14.3% 265 182 (68.7%) 10.4%
University of New Mexico NM 112 22 (19.6%) 54.5% 111 36 (32.4%) 38.9% 111 36 (32.4%) 44.4%
New York Law School NY 314 267 (85%) 37.5% 305 259 (84.9%) 37.1% 245 168 (68.6%) 36.9%
University of New Hampshire NH 71 - - 76 68 (89.5%) 45.6% 71 49 (69%) 42.9%
Northern Illinois University IL 105 - - 85 15 (17.6%) 20% 84 23 (27.4%) 30.4%
Northern Kentucky University KY 125 47 (37.6%) 8.5% 169 60 (35.5%) 11.7% 119 37 (31.1%) 10.8%
University of North Dakota ND 89 - - 85 - - 73 - -
Northeastern University MA 206 - - 140 - - 126 - -
Northwestern University IL 215 - - 213 - - 242 - -
University of Notre Dame IN 187 - - 200 - - 200 - -
Nova Southeastern University FL 224 99 (44.2%) 35.4% 227 66 (29.1%) 22.7% 262 39 (14.9%) 25.6%
New York University NY 431 - - 426 - - 452 - -
Oklahoma City University OK 152 5 (3.3%) 20% 159 5 (3.1%) 20% 156 5 (3.2%) 0%
University of Oklahoma OK 176 8 (4.5%) 0% 156 7 (4.5%) 0% 157 3 (1.9%) 0%
Ohio Northern University OH 58 21 (36.2%) 33.3% 69 37 (53.6%) 64.9% 71 46 (64.8%) 17.4%
University of Oregon OR 104 - - 128 - - 118 - -
Ohio State University OH 166 - - 177 - - 167 4 (2.4%) 0%
Pace University NY 206 174 (84.5%) 37.4% 198 108 (54.5%) 27.8% 207 115 (55.6%) 28.7%
University of the Pacific CA 166 111 (66.9%) 44.1% 174 98 (56.3%) 32.7% 152 22 (14.5%) 18.2%
University of Pennsylvania PA 242 - - 238 - - 250 - -
Pepperdine University CA 206 125 (60.7%) 20.8% 199 84 (42.2%) 26.2% 227 136 (59.9%) 27.9%
University of Pittsburgh PA 140 73 (52.1%) 6.8% 134 53 (39.6%) 17% 156 78 (50%) 16.7%
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law PA 153 - - 138 - - - -
University of Puerto Rico PR 186 - - 198 - - 198 - -
Quinnipiac University CT 92 66 (71.7%) 40.9% 93 61 (65.6%) 32.8% 92 80 (87%) 41.3%
Regent University VA 70 - - 85 - - 104 - -
University of Richmond VA 111 - - 175 - - 133 - -
Roger Williams University RI 158 110 (69.6%) 30% 147 103 (70.1%) 33% 138 83 (60.1%) 24.1%
Rutgers University NJ 319 280 (87.8%) 7.9% - - - -
Rutgers State University - Camden NJ - - - - 182 98 (53.8%) 24.5%
Rutgers State University - Newark NJ - - - - 189 79 (41.8%) 7.6%
Samford University AL 149 138 (92.6%) 8% 150 140 (93.3%) 5% 146 82 (56.2%) 14.6%
University of San Diego CA 187 130 (69.5%) 23.1% 261 64 (24.5%) 71.9% 223 49 (22%) 36.7%
University of San Francisco CA 165 45 (27.3%) 35.6% 205 49 (23.9%) 28.6% 172 47 (27.3%) 36.2%
Santa Clara University CA 261 134 (51.3%) 35.8% 260 183 (70.4%) 34.4% 152 90 (59.2%) 31.1%
Seattle University WA 201 140 (69.7%) 36.4% 201 151 (75.1%) 35.8% 256 182 (71.1%) 38.5%
Seton Hall University NJ 149 108 (72.5%) 20.4% 151 109 (72.2%) 16.5% 167 121 (72.5%) 14.9%
Southern Illinois University IL 104 - - 121 - - 125 41 (32.8%) 36.6%
St. Louis University MO 183 - - 170 - - 165 - -
Southern Methodist University TX 220 8 (3.6%) 0% 212 9 (4.2%) 0% 226 12 (5.3%) 0%
University of South Carolina SC 209 - - 201 - - 213 - -
University of South Dakota SD 52 - - 86 - - 74 1 (1.4%) 0%
Southern University Law Center LA 171 32 (18.7%) 18.8% 210 26 (12.4%) 46.2% 196 22 (11.2%) 72.7%
South Texas College of Law Houston TX 338 105 (31.1%) 27.6% 307 109 (35.5%) 23.9% 362 71 (19.6%) 22.5%
Southwestern Law School CA 278 107 (38.5%) 44.9% 314 87 (27.7%) 41.4% 337 86 (25.5%) 15.1%
Stanford University CA 180 - - 180 - - 179 - -
Stetson University FL 271 7 (2.6%) 0% 249 7 (2.8%) 0% 246 14 (5.7%) 0%
St. John's University NY 233 196 (84.1%) 58.7% 224 188 (83.9%) 53.7% 214 196 (91.6%) 56.6%
St. Mary's University TX 242 204 (84.3%) 54.9% 252 - - 254 107 (42.1%) 45.8%
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis MN 131 - - 103 - - 124 - -
St. Thomas University - Florida FL 202 89 (44.1%) 36% 212 121 (57.1%) 43% 233 130 (55.8%) 21.5%
Suffolk University MA 355 - - 334 75 (22.5%) 26.7% 423 75 (17.7%) 26.7%
Syracuse University NY 215 - - 188 81 (43.1%) 17.3% 169 91 (53.8%) 27.5%
Temple University PA 218 153 (70.2%) 6.5% 217 152 (70%) 7.2% 215 158 (73.5%) 7%
University of Tennessee TN 113 - - 116 77 (66.4%) 0% 93 79 (84.9%) 0%
University of Texas TX 295 - - 265 - - 301 - -
Texas A&M TX 133 - - 133 - - 192 110 (57.3%) 42.7%
Texas Southern University TX 227 78 (34.4%) 78.2% 236 114 (48.3%) 78.1% 166 36 (21.7%) 75%
Texas Tech University TX 160 85 (53.1%) 3.5% 182 107 (58.8%) 20.6% 228 110 (48.2%) 40.9%
Thomas Jefferson School of Law CA 232 - - 247 - - 241 - -
University of Toledo OH 79 - - 70 - - 79 45 (57%) 28.9%
Touro College NY 125 114 (91.2%) 54.4% 196 171 (87.2%) 53.8% 187 153 (81.8%) 49.7%
Tulane University LA 197 166 (84.3%) 22.9% 190 156 (82.1%) 25% 185 158 (85.4%) 18.4%
University of Tulsa OK 90 - - 86 - - 86 - -
University of California - Los Angeles CA 290 - - 293 - - 314 145 (46.2%) 0%
University of Connecticut CT 110 - - 96 - - 160 25 (15.6%) 0%
University of The District of Columbia DC 86 - - 93 - - 90 - -
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth MA 66 - - 71 - - 72 - -
University of North Carolina NC 214 - - 224 - - 201 - -
University of Nevada - Las Vegas NV 116 80 (69%) 0% 104 71 (68.3%) 29.6% 112 75 (67%) 50.7%
University of Southern California CA 229 - - 190 - - 202 - -
University of Utah UT 93 30 (32.3%) 13.3% 92 25 (27.2%) 8% 100 36 (36%) 22.2%
University of Virginia VA 296 - - 304 - - 307 - -
Valparaiso University IN 103 - - 130 - - 174 109 (62.6%) 16.5%
Vanderbilt University TN 204 - - 162 - - 171 - -
Vermont Law School VT 139 - - 141 - - 143 120 (83.9%) 3.3%
Villanova University PA 222 - - 164 - - 155 - -
Wake Forest University NC 161 - - 140 - - 179 2 (1.1%) 0%
Washburn University KS 112 47 (42%) 25.5% 103 67 (65%) 35.8% 113 77 (68.1%) 18.2%
University of Washington WA 156 - - 170 - - 163 - -
Washington University in St Louis MO 228 - - 210 - - 270 - -
Wayne State University MI 139 130 (93.5%) 0% 130 116 (89.2%) 0% 117 55 (47%) 20%
Western New England University School of Law MA 70 - - 88 - - 118 67 (56.8%) 26.9%
Western State University CA 150 - - 131 - - 104 - -
Whittier Law School CA 132 - - 146 - - 239 - -
Widener University - Delaware DE 163 - - 154 - - 128 - -
Widener University - Pennsylvania PA 107 - - 66 - - 97 - -
Willamette University OR 105 82 (78.1%) 42.7% 91 67 (73.6%) 46.3% 100 93 (93%) 41.9%
William Mitchell College of Law MN - - - - 169 - -
University of Wisconsin WI 149 - - 186 - - 158 - -
Washington and Lee University VA 117 - - 119 - - 101 - -
William and Mary VA 236 - - 199 - - 213 - -
West Virginia University WV 106 - - 103 - - 107 - -
University of Wyoming WY 70 - - 95 - - 85 - -
Yale University CT 210 - - 200 - - 200 - -

About the Data

School-specific conditional scholarship and enrollment data come from the American Bar Association.