Law School Costs

A conditional scholarship is any financial aid award that depends on 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 2017. It also shows a decline in the percentage of students with conditional scholarships who lost scholarship value after their 1L year.

The number of students who lost scholarship value also declined substantially between 2011 and 2017, from 4,017 to 2,539. As a percentage of 1L enrollment, the decline was from 8.4% to 6.8%. Although a decline of only 1.6 points, the change amounts to a 19% decline in the total number. However, the number of students losing scholarship value did not decline as much as the percentage of law schools offering conditional scholarships.

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 2018 Legal Job Rate Fall 2018 LSAT
25th 50th
Conditional Scholarships 62.7% 14836.3 percentile 15151.9 percentile
No Conditional Scholarships 72% 15459.7 percentile 15870.9 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 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
1Ls Had CS Lost CS 1Ls Had CS Lost CS 1Ls Had CS Lost CS
University of Akron OH 159 - - 158 - - 146 - -
University of Alabama AL 124 - - 133 - - 153 130 (85%) 35.4%
Albany Law School NY 150 72 (48%) 18.1% 146 97 (66.4%) 26.8% 126 62 (49.2%) 29%
American University DC 416 5 (1.2%) 0% 463 7 (1.5%) 0% 421 5 (1.2%) 0%
Appalachian School of Law VA 73 30 (41.1%) 46.7% 38 19 (50%) 31.6% 33 20 (60.6%) 35%
University of Arizona AZ 80 - - 102 - - 101 - -
Arizona Summit Law School AZ 49 37 (75.5%) 48.6% 143 86 (60.1%) 34.9% 267 186 (69.7%) 39.2%
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville AR 119 53 (44.5%) 50.9% 116 65 (56%) 55.4% 121 56 (46.3%) 64.3%
University of Arkansas - Little Rock AR 140 90 (64.3%) 30% 139 97 (69.8%) 35.1% 118 65 (55.1%) 24.6%
Arizona State University AZ 216 - - 228 - - 215 - -
Ave Maria School of Law FL 97 79 (81.4%) 38% 88 75 (85.2%) 41.3% 113 88 (77.9%) 33%
University of Baltimore MD 199 107 (53.8%) 19.6% 208 114 (54.8%) 17.5% 200 112 (56%) 25.9%
Barry University FL 243 196 (80.7%) 42.9% 195 170 (87.2%) 37.6% 278 179 (64.4%) 33.5%
Baylor University TX 167 143 (85.6%) 0% 140 126 (90%) 0% 131 113 (86.3%) 15%
Boston College MA 254 - - 247 - - 234 - -
Belmont University TN 112 52 (46.4%) 30.8% 104 38 (36.5%) 36.8% 89 18 (20.2%) 44.4%
University of California - Berkeley CA 304 - - 301 - - 294 - -
Brooklyn Law School NY 369 338 (91.6%) 19.2% 348 328 (94.3%) 19.2% 394 311 (78.9%) 15.4%
Boston University MA 236 - - 257 - - 236 - -
SUNY Buffalo NY 144 - - 140 - - 141 - -
Brigham Young University UT 101 2 (2%) 0% 138 - - 128 - -
California Western School of Law CA 263 191 (72.6%) 35.1% 273 259 (94.9%) 22.8% 248 249 (100.4%) 11.6%
Campbell University NC 167 - - 122 - - 162 - -
Capital University OH 159 373 (234.6%) 10.7% 126 111 (88.1%) 31.5% 131 90 (68.7%) 17.8%
Cardozo-Yeshiva University NY 368 - - 307 - - 288 178 (61.8%) 14%
Case Western Reserve University OH 134 - - 144 - - 122 - -
Catholic University of America DC 120 17 (14.2%) 5.9% 123 15 (12.2%) 0% 127 - -
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico PR 125 124 (99.2%) 34.7% 133 112 (84.2%) 20.5% 195 114 (58.5%) 24.6%
Chapman University CA 167 116 (69.5%) 43.1% 190 109 (57.4%) 43.1% 149 106 (71.1%) 50.9%
Charleston School of Law SC 251 - - 215 - - 85 14 (16.5%) 21.4%
Charlotte School of Law NC - - - - 309 264 (85.4%) 58.7%
University of Chicago IL 188 - - 185 - - 183 - -
University of Cincinnati OH 96 - - 126 - - 101 - -
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law OH 108 - - 98 45 (45.9%) 20% 108 78 (72.2%) 44.9%
University of Colorado CO 190 - - 170 - - 204 - -
Columbia University NY 415 - - 391 - - 388 - -
Concordia University School of Law ID 48 - - 44 - - 18 - -
Thomas M Cooley Law School MI 458 - - 415 - - 448 - -
Cornell University NY 196 - - 194 - - 203 - -
Creighton University NE 107 - - 108 - - 119 36 (30.3%) 41.7%
CUNY NY 186 - - 193 26 (13.5%) 0% 151 32 (21.2%) 0%
University of California - Davis CA 151 - - 156 - - 180 - -
University of Dayton OH 93 80 (86%) 28.8% 113 90 (79.6%) 28.9% 90 65 (72.2%) 26.2%
University of Denver CO 248 129 (52%) 4.7% 247 132 (53.4%) 11.4% 250 149 (59.6%) 14.8%
DePaul University IL 249 - - 248 - - 241 - -
University of Detroit Mercy MI 214 74 (34.6%) 12.2% 200 59 (29.5%) 30.5% 196 49 (25%) 14.3%
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law PA 73 - - 58 - - 64 - -
Drake University IA 103 35 (34%) 68.6% 107 41 (38.3%) 61% 100 44 (44%) 47.7%
Drexel University PA 151 58 (38.4%) 29.3% 130 59 (45.4%) 27.1% 126 46 (36.5%) 39.1%
Duke University NC 214 - - 221 - - 225 - -
Duquesne University PA 148 - - 123 - - 128 - -
Elon Law School NC 138 22 (15.9%) 0% 128 23 (18%) 0% 133 17 (12.8%) 0%
Emory University GA 238 - - 261 - - 234 - -
Florida A&M University FL 222 - - 151 1 (0.7%) 0% 159 1 (0.6%) 0%
Faulkner University AL 71 57 (80.3%) 36.8% 92 66 (71.7%) 21.2% 101 42 (41.6%) 4.8%
Florida International University FL 149 69 (46.3%) 31.9% 146 76 (52.1%) 42.1% 136 64 (47.1%) 39.1%
University of Florida FL 301 - - 314 - - 310 - -
Florida Coastal School of Law FL 106 95 (89.6%) 56.8% 235 147 (62.6%) 36.7% 320 249 (77.8%) 30.9%
Fordham University NY 410 - - 399 - - 373 - -
Florida State University FL 179 1 (0.6%) 0% 153 1 (0.7%) 0% 175 1 (0.6%) 0%
University of Georgia GA 189 - - 178 - - 189 - -
George Mason University VA 176 - - 179 33 (18.4%) 15.2% 157 136 (86.6%) 31.6%
Golden Gate University CA 186 124 (66.7%) 49.2% 148 87 (58.8%) 57.5% 117 106 (90.6%) 57.5%
Gonzaga University WA 119 115 (96.6%) 24.3% 103 102 (99%) 22.5% 127 126 (99.2%) 19.8%
Georgia State University GA 190 - - 201 - - 189 - -
Georgetown University DC 582 - - 576 - - 576 - -
George Washington University DC 407 - - 458 - - 471 - -
Harvard University MA 560 - - 563 - - 562 - -
University of California - Hastings CA 326 9 (2.8%) 0% 348 8 (2.3%) 12.5% 289 10 (3.5%) 10%
University of Hawaii HI 94 - - 83 - - 85 - -
Hofstra University NY 250 193 (77.2%) 40.4% 223 177 (79.4%) 52.5% 251 196 (78.1%) 52.6%
University of Houston TX 227 - - 211 - - 215 - -
Howard University DC 145 - - 145 61 (42.1%) 14.8% 143 66 (46.2%) 36.4%
University of Idaho ID 111 83 (74.8%) 37.3% 98 75 (76.5%) 28% 105 57 (54.3%) 36.8%
University of Illinois IL 153 - - 137 - - 162 - -
Indiana University - Bloomington IN 162 - - 178 - - 153 - -
Indiana University - Indianapolis IN 240 157 (65.4%) 16.6% 253 149 (58.9%) 20.1% 254 125 (49.2%) 7.2%
Inter American University PR 194 - - 193 - - 208 - -
University of Iowa IA 131 - - 135 - - 141 - -
University of California - Irvine CA 159 - - 140 - - 123 - -
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta GA 216 144 (66.7%) 41.7% 195 150 (76.9%) 62.7% 239 145 (60.7%) 73.8%
John Marshall Law School - Chicago IL 301 123 (40.9%) 41.5% 282 147 (52.1%) 44.9% 334 182 (54.5%) 38.5%
University of Kansas KS 107 83 (77.6%) 36.1% 107 68 (63.6%) 30.9% 126 90 (71.4%) 23.3%
Chicago-Kent College of Law IL 229 - - 241 - - 238 - -
University of Kentucky KY 113 - - 179 - - 113 - -
University of La Verne CA 99 - - 116 - - 95 - -
Lewis and Clark College OR 170 2 (1.2%) 0% 174 - - 172 - -
Liberty University VA 73 73 (100%) 2.7% 64 63 (98.4%) 1.6% 51 50 (98%) 0%
Lincoln Memorial University TN 100 - - 61 - - 50 45 (90%) 8.9%
University of Louisville KY 141 - - 111 - - 115 - -
Loyola University Chicago IL 258 - - 248 - - 206 - -
Loyola Marymount University CA 326 236 (72.4%) 20.8% 306 206 (67.3%) 20.4% 268 190 (70.9%) 16.3%
Loyola University New Orleans LA 177 92 (52%) 17.4% 172 89 (51.7%) 13.5% 153 93 (60.8%) 21.5%
Louisiana State University LA 179 175 (97.8%) 30.3% 198 195 (98.5%) 32.3% 172 154 (89.5%) 27.9%
University of Maine ME 85 - - 76 - - 79 - -
Marquette University WI 186 - - 190 - - 178 - -
University of Maryland MD 207 - - 198 - - 204 - -
University of Memphis TN 107 26 (24.3%) 34.6% 110 24 (21.8%) 29.2% 116 19 (16.4%) 36.8%
Mercer University GA 122 - - 144 - - 125 - -
University of Miami FL 322 205 (63.7%) 3.9% 291 175 (60.1%) 5.7% 306 182 (59.5%) 5.5%
University of Michigan MI 320 - - 305 - - 267 - -
University of Minnesota MN 196 - - 176 - - 174 - -
University of Mississippi MS 113 - - 108 - - 145 - -
Mississippi College MS 131 83 (63.4%) 26.5% 135 - - 122 - -
University of Missouri - Columbia MO 92 42 (45.7%) 23.8% 104 59 (56.7%) 20.3% 106 62 (58.5%) 12.9%
University of Missouri - Kansas City MO 122 2 (1.6%) 50% 122 6 (4.9%) 16.7% 140 - -
Mitchell Hamline School of Law MN 392 - - 338 - - - -
University of Montana MT 72 43 (59.7%) 11.6% 76 41 (53.9%) 19.5% 71 3 (4.2%) 0%
Michigan State University MI 266 - - 259 230 (88.8%) 16.1% 280 231 (82.5%) 20.3%
North Carolina Central University NC 166 - - 183 - - 199 13 (6.5%) 46.2%
University of Nebraska NE 132 - - 132 - - 102 57 (55.9%) 26.3%
New England School of Law MA 185 122 (65.9%) 16.4% 172 127 (73.8%) 20.5% 198 112 (56.6%) 14.3%
University of New Mexico NM 123 60 (48.8%) 18.3% 112 22 (19.6%) 54.5% 111 36 (32.4%) 38.9%
New York Law School NY 377 320 (84.9%) 41.3% 314 267 (85%) 37.5% 305 259 (84.9%) 37.1%
University of New Hampshire NH 74 - - 71 - - 76 68 (89.5%) 45.6%
Northern Illinois University IL 98 - - 105 - - 85 15 (17.6%) 20%
Northern Kentucky University KY 148 55 (37.2%) 14.5% 125 47 (37.6%) 8.5% 169 60 (35.5%) 11.7%
University of North Dakota ND 71 - - 89 - - 85 - -
Northeastern University MA 208 - - 206 - - 140 - -
Northwestern University IL 228 - - 215 - - 213 - -
University of Notre Dame IN 198 - - 187 - - 200 - -
Nova Southeastern University FL 226 - - 224 99 (44.2%) 35.4% 227 66 (29.1%) 22.7%
New York University NY 427 - - 431 - - 426 - -
Oklahoma City University OK 163 5 (3.1%) 20% 152 5 (3.3%) 20% 159 5 (3.1%) 20%
University of Oklahoma OK 159 - - 176 8 (4.5%) 0% 156 7 (4.5%) 0%
Ohio Northern University OH 52 26 (50%) 23.1% 58 21 (36.2%) 33.3% 69 37 (53.6%) 64.9%
University of Oregon OR 144 144 (100%) 11.8% 104 - - 128 - -
Ohio State University OH 215 - - 166 - - 177 - -
Pace University NY 230 179 (77.8%) 42.5% 206 174 (84.5%) 37.4% 198 108 (54.5%) 27.8%
University of the Pacific CA 152 103 (67.8%) 44.7% 166 111 (66.9%) 44.1% 174 98 (56.3%) 32.7%
University of Pennsylvania PA 244 - - 242 - - 238 - -
Pepperdine University CA 157 102 (65%) 20.6% 206 125 (60.7%) 20.8% 199 84 (42.2%) 26.2%
University of Pittsburgh PA 141 76 (53.9%) 13.2% 140 73 (52.1%) 6.8% 134 53 (39.6%) 17%
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law PA 119 - - 153 - - 138 - -
University of Puerto Rico PR 181 - - 186 - - 198 - -
Quinnipiac University CT 125 89 (71.2%) 39.3% 92 66 (71.7%) 40.9% 93 61 (65.6%) 32.8%
Regent University VA 93 - - 70 - - 85 - -
University of Richmond VA 115 - - 111 - - 175 - -
Roger Williams University RI 161 99 (61.5%) 29.3% 158 110 (69.6%) 30% 147 103 (70.1%) 33%
Rutgers University NJ 347 304 (87.6%) 11.2% 319 280 (87.8%) 7.9% - -
Samford University AL 148 - - 149 138 (92.6%) 8% 150 140 (93.3%) 5%
University of San Diego CA 240 187 (77.9%) 31.6% 187 130 (69.5%) 23.1% 261 64 (24.5%) 71.9%
University of San Francisco CA 143 83 (58%) 30.1% 165 45 (27.3%) 35.6% 205 49 (23.9%) 28.6%
Santa Clara University CA 220 95 (43.2%) 33.7% 261 134 (51.3%) 35.8% 260 183 (70.4%) 34.4%
Seattle University WA 197 160 (81.2%) 32.5% 201 140 (69.7%) 36.4% 201 151 (75.1%) 35.8%
Seton Hall University NJ 197 125 (63.5%) 16.8% 149 108 (72.5%) 20.4% 151 109 (72.2%) 16.5%
Southern Illinois University IL 114 - - 104 - - 121 - -
St. Louis University MO 168 - - 183 - - 170 - -
Southern Methodist University TX 208 10 (4.8%) 10% 220 8 (3.6%) 0% 212 9 (4.2%) 0%
University of South Carolina SC 215 - - 209 - - 201 - -
University of South Dakota SD 57 - - 52 - - 86 - -
Southern University Law Center LA 200 59 (29.5%) 22% 171 32 (18.7%) 18.8% 210 26 (12.4%) 46.2%
South Texas College of Law Houston TX 361 93 (25.8%) 40.9% 338 105 (31.1%) 27.6% 307 109 (35.5%) 23.9%
Southwestern Law School CA 278 106 (38.1%) 43.4% 278 107 (38.5%) 44.9% 314 87 (27.7%) 41.4%
Stanford University CA 180 - - 180 - - 180 - -
Stetson University FL 267 4 (1.5%) 0% 271 7 (2.6%) 0% 249 7 (2.8%) 0%
St. John's University NY 251 231 (92%) 31.2% 233 196 (84.1%) 58.7% 224 188 (83.9%) 53.7%
St. Mary's University TX 291 268 (92.1%) 63.4% 242 204 (84.3%) 54.9% 252 - -
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis MN 146 - - 131 - - 103 - -
St. Thomas University - Florida FL 185 120 (64.9%) 50.8% 202 89 (44.1%) 36% 212 121 (57.1%) 43%
Suffolk University MA 340 - - 355 - - 334 75 (22.5%) 26.7%
Syracuse University NY 197 - - 215 - - 188 81 (43.1%) 17.3%
Temple University PA 223 146 (65.5%) 4.8% 218 153 (70.2%) 6.5% 217 152 (70%) 7.2%
University of Tennessee TN 123 - - 113 - - 116 77 (66.4%) 0%
University of Texas TX 308 - - 295 - - 265 - -
Texas A&M TX 138 - - 133 - - 133 - -
Texas Southern University TX 256 32 (12.5%) 81.3% 227 78 (34.4%) 78.2% 236 114 (48.3%) 78.1%
Texas Tech University TX 139 114 (82%) 23.7% 160 85 (53.1%) 3.5% 182 107 (58.8%) 20.6%
Thomas Jefferson School of Law CA 241 - - 232 - - 247 - -
University of Toledo OH 92 - - 79 - - 70 - -
Touro College NY 177 134 (75.7%) 59% 125 114 (91.2%) 54.4% 196 171 (87.2%) 53.8%
Tulane University LA 208 173 (83.2%) 20.2% 197 166 (84.3%) 22.9% 190 156 (82.1%) 25%
University of Tulsa OK 94 - - 90 - - 86 - -
University of California - Los Angeles CA 294 - - 290 - - 293 - -
University of Connecticut CT 145 - - 110 - - 96 - -
University of The District of Columbia DC 93 61 (65.6%) 26.2% 86 - - 93 - -
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth MA 80 - - 66 - - 71 - -
University of North Carolina NC 213 - - 214 - - 224 - -
University of Nevada - Las Vegas NV 105 - - 116 80 (69%) 0% 104 71 (68.3%) 29.6%
University of North Texas Dallas College of Law TX 104 - - - - - -
University of Southern California CA 187 - - 229 - - 190 - -
University of Utah UT 91 23 (25.3%) 4.3% 93 30 (32.3%) 13.3% 92 25 (27.2%) 8%
University of Virginia VA 319 - - 296 - - 304 - -
Valparaiso University IN 28 - - 103 - - 130 - -
Vanderbilt University TN 168 - - 204 - - 162 - -
Vermont Law School VT 161 - - 139 - - 141 - -
Villanova University PA 175 - - 222 - - 164 - -
Wake Forest University NC 157 - - 161 - - 140 - -
Washburn University KS 114 68 (59.6%) 26.5% 112 47 (42%) 25.5% 103 67 (65%) 35.8%
University of Washington WA 166 - - 156 - - 170 - -
Washington University in St Louis MO 225 - - 228 - - 210 - -
Wayne State University MI 147 109 (74.1%) 0% 139 130 (93.5%) 0% 130 116 (89.2%) 0%
Western New England University School of Law MA 93 - - 70 - - 88 - -
Western State University CA 164 - - 150 - - 131 - -
Whittier Law School CA - - 132 - - 146 - -
Widener University - Delaware DE 206 - - 163 - - 154 - -
Widener University - Pennsylvania PA 128 - - 107 - - 66 - -
Willamette University OR 110 93 (84.5%) 52.7% 105 82 (78.1%) 42.7% 91 67 (73.6%) 46.3%
University of Wisconsin WI 151 - - 149 - - 186 - -
Washington and Lee University VA 164 - - 117 - - 119 - -
William and Mary VA 186 - - 236 - - 199 - -
West Virginia University WV 109 - - 106 - - 103 - -
University of Wyoming WY 72 186 (258.3%) 7% 70 - - 95 - -
Yale University CT 205 - - 210 - - 200 - -

About the Data

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