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Law School Costs

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A few important notes for the following table:

  • The data on this page come from the U.S. Department of Education. The Education Department obtained the earnings data from the Department of Treasury and released the dataset in November 2019.
  • The borrowing data reflect 2015 and 2016 graduates; it does not include any prior borrowing from undergraduate or other completed studies.
  • The earnings data reflect only earnings by those who borrowed at least $1 of federal student loans to attend law school. In 2015 and 2016, 77% and 76% of graduates borrowed for law school.
  • The earnings data measure actual earnings in the first full calendar year after graduation, e.g. the earnings were from 2016 for 2016 graduates. The Education Department earnings statistic includes any graduate who paid taxes during the measurement year, regardless of how many jobs they had or what type(s) of the job(s).
    • This measures something different than NALP, which measures the annual salary of a graduate 10 months after graduation (on March 15) and reports only on long-term, full-time jobs. A graduate who started their job on March 1, 2016 would report their starting salary (for example, $60,000) to NALP. If they held the job for the remainder of the calendar year, they would have earned $50,000 from that job in 2016. But if they made $4,000 from part-time work in January and February, they would report $54,000 of income to the IRS.
  • The "amount borrowed" does not include interest that accumulates during law school, thus is different than the "amount owed" or "debt." The payment column assumes an interest rate for Graduate PLUS loans (7.08%), which is too high. The first $20,500 each year would be one point lower (6.08%). The actual weighted interest rate will vary depending on when and how much a student borrowed; the Education Department used the same rate for ease. Nonetheless, the monthly payment is underestimated because the Education Department calculated the payment from the amount borrowed instead of the amount owed when the first payment was due six months after graduation. In other words, the monthly payment ignores the $1000's of interest that accumulated during law school and after graduation.
  • The debt-to-income ratio on this page divides the median earnings into the median amount borrowed. This provides an imperfect benchmark for excessive borrowing. For incomes on the lower end (factoring in cost of living), a 1.00 ratio may provide a reasonable balance—at 1.00, debt matches earnings. But on the very high end of incomes, a higher ratio may feel manageable. While a little more challenging to calculate, a debt-to-income ratio using monthly payments provides a more relatable guide. Read more on this method here.
School Type State Median Borrowed Median Payment10-Year Plan Mean Borrowed Median Earnings Debt:IncomeUsing Medians
Albany Law School Private NY $110,549 $1,288 $102,647 $53,900 2.05
American University Private DC $177,226 $2,065 $166,300 $55,300 3.20
Appalachian School of Law Private VA $117,964 $1,375 $104,751 $31,500 3.74
Arizona State University Public AZ $94,325 $1,099 $96,989 $56,800 1.66
Arizona Summit Law School For Profit AZ $188,191 $2,193 $175,879 $45,200 4.16
Ave Maria School of Law Private FL $158,206 $1,843 $150,525 $40,700 3.89
Barry University Private FL $168,309 $1,961 $156,543 $36,200 4.65
Baylor University Private TX $91,401 $1,065 $120,860 $66,800 1.37
Belmont University Private TN $120,498 $1,404 $120,719 $51,400 2.34
Boston College Private MA $100,594 $1,172 $103,300 $88,300 1.14
Boston University Private MA $110,891 $1,292 $103,412 $81,200 1.37
Brigham Young University Private UT $51,250 $597 $51,245 $56,200 0.91
Brooklyn Law School Private NY $119,909 $1,397 $115,508 $66,100 1.81
California Western School of Law Private CA $147,095 $1,714 $146,479 $47,500 3.10
Campbell University Private NC $144,330 $1,682 $131,858 $43,000 3.36
Capital University Private OH $129,089 $1,504 $122,388 $45,800 2.82
Cardozo-Yeshiva University Private NY $111,031 $1,294 $113,108 $66,000 1.68
Case Western Reserve University Private OH $82,570 $962 $89,821 $50,000 1.65
Catholic University of America Private DC $142,868 $1,665 $139,459 $58,900 2.43
Chapman University Private CA $148,852 $1,734 $140,149 $57,100 2.61
Charleston School of Law For Profit SC $154,378 $1,799 $145,445 $42,700 3.62
Charlotte School of Law For Profit NC $188,985 $2,202 $172,517 $37,000 5.11
Chicago-Kent College of Law Private IL $104,921 $1,223 $105,102 $59,300 1.77
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Public OH $83,868 $977 $87,010 $49,800 1.68
Columbia University Private NY $165,314 $1,926 $151,410 $180,300 0.92
Concordia University School of Law Private ID $93,755 $1,092 $90,995 $54,500 1.72
Cornell University Private NY $153,937 $1,794 $143,335 $175,200 0.88
Creighton University Private NE $132,800 $1,547 $129,231 $47,700 2.78
CUNY Public NY $78,224 $911 $74,744 $54,800 1.43
DePaul University Private IL $132,803 $1,547 $124,303 $52,200 2.54
Drake University Private IA $116,863 $1,362 $117,875 $52,200 2.24
Drexel University Private PA $87,864 $1,024 $94,453 $49,800 1.76
Duke University Private NC $138,000 $1,608 $133,131 $162,200 0.85
Duquesne University Private PA $84,428 $984 $97,599 $50,600 1.67
Elon Law School Private NC $160,285 $1,868 $155,958 $37,900 4.23
Emory University Private GA $131,738 $1,535 $118,187 $66,800 1.97
Faulkner University Private AL No Data No Data $154,834 $36,300 No Data
Florida A&M University Public FL $105,703 $1,232 $99,254 $39,300 2.69
Florida Coastal School of Law For Profit FL $198,655 $2,315 $182,215 $35,300 5.63
Florida International University Public FL $104,971 $1,223 $103,805 $48,600 2.16
Florida State University Public FL $81,159 $946 $84,310 $47,000 1.73
Fordham University Private NY $151,250 $1,762 $147,080 $99,000 1.53
George Mason University Public VA $114,383 $1,333 $110,086 $66,900 1.71
George Washington University Private DC $163,300 $1,903 $149,917 $74,300 2.20
Georgetown University Private DC $163,688 $1,907 $160,973 $105,000 1.56
Georgia State University Public GA $69,200 $806 $69,753 $62,400 1.11
Golden Gate University Private CA $166,264 $1,937 $153,104 $39,200 4.24
Gonzaga University Private WA $109,362 $1,274 $104,061 $50,200 2.18
Hamline University Private MN No Data No Data $103,549 $49,000 No Data
Harvard University Private MA $133,617 $1,557 $136,746 $158,200 0.84
Hofstra University Private NY $148,342 $1,728 $140,548 $55,000 2.70
Howard University Private DC $156,563 $1,824 $149,974 $52,800 2.97
Indiana Tech Private IN $59,650 $695 $65,639 No Data No Data
Indiana University - Bloomington Public IN $85,162 $992 $93,379 $55,100 1.55
Indiana University - Indianapolis Public IN $109,422 $1,275 $107,843 $54,100 2.02
Inter American University Private PR $99,403 $1,158 $95,175 $25,900 3.84
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta For Profit GA $177,854 $2,072 $164,635 $38,700 4.60
Lewis and Clark College Private OR $134,180 $1,563 $133,048 $48,700 2.76
Liberty University Private VA $71,534 $834 $77,325 $36,200 1.98
Lincoln Memorial University Private TN $91,323 $1,064 $89,830 $26,400 3.46
Louisiana State University Public LA $71,422 $832 $82,907 $50,600 1.41
Loyola Marymount University Private CA $144,200 $1,680 $146,380 $63,700 2.26
Loyola University Chicago Private IL $141,244 $1,646 $130,973 $64,400 2.19
Loyola University New Orleans Private LA $130,522 $1,521 $125,774 $41,800 3.12
Marquette University Private WI $154,154 $1,796 $142,402 $53,100 2.90
Mercer University Private GA $140,818 $1,641 $138,148 $46,200 3.05
Michigan State University Private MI $90,674 $1,057 $92,928 $51,700 1.75
Mississippi College Private MS $128,722 $1,500 $125,458 $42,300 3.04
Mitchell Hamline School of Law Private MN $64,429 $751 $74,963 $53,200 1.21
New England School of Law Private MA $109,422 $1,275 $118,729 $50,000 2.19
New York Law School Private NY $167,078 $1,947 $160,253 $59,300 2.82
New York University Private NY $183,857 $2,142 $170,733 $175,800 1.05
North Carolina Central University Public NC $94,358 $1,099 $99,413 $38,200 2.47
Northeastern University Private MA $107,082 $1,248 $107,403 $51,600 2.08
Northern Illinois University Public IL $83,660 $975 $86,582 $45,200 1.85
Northern Kentucky University Public KY $79,951 $932 $81,164 $46,700 1.71
Northwestern University Private IL $156,418 $1,823 $146,938 $171,900 0.91
Nova Southeastern University Private FL $161,219 $1,879 $150,527 $52,100 3.09
Ohio Northern University Private OH $100,224 $1,168 $99,546 $39,800 2.52
Ohio State University Public OH $97,238 $1,133 $94,210 $58,100 1.67
Oklahoma City University Private OK $132,586 $1,545 $124,086 $42,900 3.09
Pace University Private NY $102,821 $1,198 $108,858 $60,700 1.69
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law Public PA $96,321 $1,122 $96,111 $48,200 2.00
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law Public PA $96,321 $1,122 $96,111 $48,200 2.00
Pepperdine University Private CA $161,300 $1,879 $152,644 $61,400 2.63
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico Private PR $97,269 $1,133 $97,184 $19,100 5.09
Quinnipiac University Private CT $82,000 $955 $93,726 $54,300 1.51
Regent University Private VA $118,275 $1,378 $119,017 $45,200 2.62
Roger Williams University Private RI $123,384 $1,438 $117,552 $47,300 2.61
Rutgers University Public NJ $82,000 $955 $85,193 $53,000 1.55
Samford University Private AL $135,438 $1,578 $126,954 $44,800 3.02
Santa Clara University Private CA $160,558 $1,871 $148,867 $66,200 2.43
Seattle University Private WA $155,575 $1,813 $143,925 $52,600 2.96
Seton Hall University Private NJ $126,050 $1,469 $127,001 $55,200 2.28
South Texas College of Law Houston Private TX $132,415 $1,543 $122,578 $56,900 2.33
Southern Illinois University Public IL $98,215 $1,144 $90,584 $44,800 2.19
Southern Methodist University Private TX $134,484 $1,567 $129,977 $75,600 1.78
Southern University Law Center Public LA $95,437 $1,112 $97,904 $36,800 2.59
Southwestern Law School Private CA $193,653 $2,256 $187,521 $45,000 4.30
St. John's University Private NY $112,662 $1,313 $114,793 $65,900 1.71
St. Louis University Private MO $106,638 $1,243 $106,453 $52,200 2.04
St. Mary's University Private TX $102,500 $1,194 $110,159 $46,600 2.20
St. Thomas University - Florida Private FL $149,322 $1,740 $147,706 $39,100 3.82
Stanford University Private CA $120,410 $1,403 $119,935 $156,700 0.77
Stetson University Private FL $137,217 $1,599 $129,753 $49,300 2.78
Suffolk University Private MA $129,384 $1,508 $128,447 $52,900 2.45
SUNY Buffalo Public NY $90,928 $1,060 $92,108 $52,100 1.75
Syracuse University Private NY $106,000 $1,235 $110,322 $57,000 1.86
Temple University Public PA $69,583 $811 $78,731 $61,300 1.14
Texas A&M Public TX $119,803 $1,396 $116,612 $53,800 2.23
Texas Southern University Public TX $117,935 $1,374 $109,405 $37,200 3.17
Texas Tech University Public TX $70,006 $816 $79,492 $60,200 1.16
Thomas Jefferson School of Law Private CA $195,892 $2,283 $190,263 $37,400 5.24
Thomas M Cooley Law School Private MI $162,011 $1,888 $153,322 $36,000 4.50
Touro College Private NY $150,767 $1,757 $147,305 $55,800 2.70
Tulane University Private LA $122,886 $1,432 $126,151 $56,800 2.16
University of Akron Public OH $73,756 $859 $78,953 $42,200 1.75
University of Alabama Public AL $68,992 $804 $76,753 $51,900 1.33
University of Arizona Public AZ $81,178 $946 $83,884 $52,900 1.53
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville Public AR $61,500 $717 $67,473 $51,700 1.19
University of Arkansas - Little Rock Public AR $77,208 $900 $72,122 $46,800 1.65
University of Baltimore Public MD $109,510 $1,276 $111,251 $52,800 2.07
University of California - Berkeley Public CA $151,136 $1,761 $143,613 $135,400 1.12
University of California - Davis Public CA $99,716 $1,162 $96,079 $67,100 1.49
University of California - Hastings Public CA $137,787 $1,606 $125,545 $67,600 2.04
University of California - Irvine Public CA $119,986 $1,398 $120,924 $68,700 1.75
University of California - Los Angeles Public CA $121,453 $1,415 $117,439 $96,600 1.26
University of Chicago Private IL $146,806 $1,711 $134,795 $170,500 0.86
University of Cincinnati Public OH $76,173 $888 $72,453 $49,300 1.55
University of Colorado Public CO $101,626 $1,184 $100,687 $56,600 1.80
University of Connecticut Public CT $69,085 $805 $70,792 $68,600 1.01
University of Dayton Private OH $120,274 $1,401 $111,690 $42,000 2.86
University of Denver Private CO $143,792 $1,675 $143,937 $55,000 2.61
University of Detroit Mercy Private MI $149,993 $1,748 $135,837 $46,700 3.21
University of Florida Public FL $84,508 $985 $84,052 $56,900 1.49
University of Georgia Public GA $82,480 $961 $82,605 $57,600 1.43
University of Hawaii Public HI $77,849 $907 $85,910 $56,200 1.39
University of Houston Public TX $92,067 $1,073 $94,515 $67,600 1.36
University of Idaho Public ID $85,550 $997 $88,218 $48,400 1.77
University of Illinois Public IL $90,928 $1,060 $96,219 $67,700 1.34
University of Illinois at Chicago - John Marshall Law School Public IL $154,079 $1,795 $150,383 $47,400 3.25
University of Iowa Public IA $62,249 $725 $71,565 $62,700 0.99
University of Kansas Public KS $66,415 $774 $76,202 $52,100 1.27
University of Kentucky Public KY $69,860 $814 $79,160 $54,400 1.28
University of La Verne Private CA $140,182 $1,633 $139,824 $36,800 3.81
University of Louisville Public KY $94,503 $1,101 $93,481 $42,800 2.21
University of Maryland Public MD $118,155 $1,377 $115,279 $55,400 2.13
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Public MA $102,500 $1,194 $102,340 $44,500 2.30
University of Memphis Public TN $76,622 $893 $81,224 $46,200 1.66
University of Miami Private FL $150,896 $1,758 $146,720 $52,100 2.90
University of Michigan Public MI $145,182 $1,692 $134,580 $126,800 1.14
University of Minnesota Public MN $112,603 $1,312 $105,330 $58,700 1.92
University of Mississippi Public MS $64,300 $749 $66,247 $48,700 1.32
University of Missouri - Columbia Public MO $71,603 $834 $70,657 $49,500 1.45
University of Missouri - Kansas City Public MO $99,005 $1,154 $93,251 $49,000 2.02
University of Montana Public MT $76,666 $893 $76,804 $49,900 1.54
University of Nebraska Public NE $59,124 $689 $62,485 $50,900 1.16
University of Nevada - Las Vegas Public NV $94,197 $1,098 $93,899 $65,900 1.43
University of New Mexico Public NM $83,999 $979 $80,068 $49,600 1.69
University of North Carolina Public NC $107,059 $1,247 $102,039 $55,300 1.94
University of North Dakota Public ND $61,500 $717 $62,238 $48,800 1.26
University of Notre Dame Private IN $130,589 $1,522 $120,935 $75,500 1.73
University of Oklahoma Public OK $74,250 $865 $81,629 $53,600 1.39
University of Oregon Public OR $88,306 $1,029 $88,748 $50,300 1.76
University of Pennsylvania Private PA $149,729 $1,745 $146,402 $175,100 0.86
University of Pittsburgh Public PA $101,186 $1,179 $100,937 $47,100 2.15
University of Puerto Rico Public PR $44,000 $513 $41,801 $26,200 1.68
University of Richmond Private VA $97,625 $1,138 $98,286 $53,500 1.82
University of San Diego Private CA $134,348 $1,565 $129,427 $62,100 2.16
University of San Francisco Private CA $195,820 $2,282 $176,289 $53,900 3.63
University of South Carolina Public SC $102,007 $1,189 $97,693 $48,300 2.11
University of South Dakota Public SD $79,143 $922 $83,386 $49,200 1.61
University of Southern California Private CA $129,223 $1,506 $124,796 $89,300 1.45
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis Private MN $84,261 $982 $87,679 $49,600 1.70
University of Tennessee Public TN $61,500 $717 $74,744 $53,000 1.16
University of Texas Public TX $106,598 $1,242 $100,135 $90,100 1.18
University of The District of Columbia Public DC $96,992 $1,130 $99,053 No Data No Data
University of the Pacific Private CA $158,437 $1,846 $144,982 $53,000 2.99
University of Toledo Public OH $81,546 $950 $81,174 $41,000 1.99
University of Tulsa Private OK $75,326 $878 $83,148 $50,800 1.48
University of Utah Public UT $79,768 $929 $87,316 $57,800 1.38
University of Virginia Public VA $158,376 $1,845 $149,871 $151,500 1.05
University of Washington Public WA $109,405 $1,275 $104,816 $63,000 1.74
University of Wisconsin Public WI $61,500 $717 $71,525 $56,000 1.10
University of Wyoming Public WY $84,032 $979 $87,084 $52,000 1.62
Valparaiso University Private IN $139,821 $1,629 $131,103 $37,000 3.78
Vanderbilt University Private TN $129,030 $1,503 $119,460 $108,800 1.19
Vermont Law School Private VT No Data No Data No Data No Data No Data
Villanova University Private PA $83,761 $976 $95,946 $56,900 1.47
Wake Forest University Private NC $113,656 $1,324 $109,384 $55,400 2.05
Washburn University Public KS $82,194 $958 $81,972 $48,800 1.68
Washington and Lee University Private VA $97,276 $1,133 $99,864 $64,200 1.52
Washington University in St Louis Private MO $81,500 $950 $90,881 $79,800 1.02
Wayne State University Public MI $67,640 $788 $78,042 $58,300 1.16
West Virginia University Public WV $84,227 $981 $83,997 $51,100 1.65
Western New England University School of Law Private MA $129,662 $1,511 $125,446 $46,300 2.80
Western State University Private CA $114,795 $1,338 $119,071 $40,000 2.87
Whittier Law School Private CA $196,008 $2,284 $186,978 $36,900 5.31
Widener University Private DE $134,806 $1,571 $130,531 $48,900 2.76
Willamette University Private OR $154,190 $1,797 $148,864 $45,000 3.43
William and Mary Public VA $98,700 $1,150 $95,654 $59,800 1.65
Yale University Private CT $126,398 $1,473 $119,139 $128,900 0.98

About the Data

School-specific borrowing and earnings data on this page come from the United States Department of Education.