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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 2019-2020 academic year, 22.2% paid full price. The remaining 77.8% 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.

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
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2012-13 to 2019-20
Baylor University +51.4%$25K $38K
Brooklyn Law School +33.1%$26K $35K
Southern Methodist University +31.4%$25K $33K
University of Chicago +30.3%$42K $54K
Boston College +29.8%$31K $40K
Top 5 Decreases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2019-20
University of Dayton -54.8%$28K $13K
Northeastern University -47.5%$36K $19K
Washington University in St Louis -44.4%$29K $16K
Regent University -37.4%$26K $16K
Florida Coastal School of Law -37.3%$33K $21K
Top 5 Increases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2019-20
Texas Southern University +79.7%$12K $21K
University of North Dakota +71.6%$9K $15K
Southern University Law Center +68.4%$10K $18K
Northern Kentucky University +60.9%$11K $17K
West Virginia University +55.7%$10K $15K
Top 5 Decreases
View All Schools
2012-13 to 2019-20
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law -92.2%$32K $2K
George Mason University -80.6%$23K $4K
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Law -79.7%$32K $7K
University of Illinois -72.6%$21K $6K
University of Arizona -67.4%$18K $6K

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.