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Law School Costs

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 2016-2017 academic year, 26.8% paid full price. The remaining 73.2% 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 and private 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.

Note Net tuition estimates at public schools are systematically low. More.

Tip On the left panelAt the top of the page, you can change the data scope to view net tuition from different angles.

Top 5 Increases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2016-17
Thomas M Cooley Law School +58%$23K $36K
Baylor University +31.1%$25K $33K
Southern Methodist University +21.7%$25K $31K
Harvard University +20.1%$42K $50K
Stanford University +19.6%$39K $46K
Top 5 Decreases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2016-17
Northeastern University -49.3%$36K $18K
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis -44.2%$24K $13K
University of Tulsa -38.7%$20K $12K
University of Dayton -37.8%$28K $17K
Mitchell Hamline School of Law -36.7%$23K $15K
Top 5 Increases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2016-17
University of Wyoming +56.7%$10K $16K
North Carolina Central University +55.7%$9K $13K
University of Hawaii +48.4%$14K $20K
West Virginia University +48%$9K $13K
University of Connecticut +42.7%$13K $18K
Top 5 Decreases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2016-17
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law -80%$32K $6K
University of Iowa -79.6%$11K $2K
University of New Hampshire -64%$34K $12K
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law -63.7%$32K $12K
University of Arizona -62.2%$18K $7K

About the Data

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.