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Author Topic: Ridiculous Tuition?  (Read 2463 times)

stultepuer

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Ridiculous Tuition?
« on: October 02, 2009, 01:12:48 AM »
How the hell do schools like Suffolk, Vermont Law School, and Northeastern get away with charging as much tuition as BC or BU (all around $38,000) when schools with better progams suchs as George Mason, Maryland, and William and Mary are $8,000 cheaper (and even less if one finds a way to finagle in-state residency)?

Matthies

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2009, 11:44:34 AM »
How the hell do schools like Suffolk, Vermont Law School, and Northeastern get away with charging as much tuition as BC or BU (all around $38,000) when schools with better progams suchs as George Mason, Maryland, and William and Mary are $8,000 cheaper (and even less if one finds a way to finagle in-state residency)?

Because there are far more people who want to go to law school then there are seats available in law school.  Every school in the country, t1 to t4, has far more applicants than they could ever admit. Supply/demand
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van Haarlem

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 03:10:26 PM »
Because people are stupid and are willing to pay those ridiculous prices.  Something needs to change, and I believe it will in time.

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 04:16:36 PM »
Because people are stupid and are willing to pay those ridiculous prices.  Something needs to change, and I believe it will in time.

If people are "stupid" and "willing to pay" then what would make you believe that something will change? Furthermore, why should tuition be necessarily tied to reputation of the institution?  ... Opposed to the overhead and daily operating costs of running a law school.

Ninja1

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 09:35:47 PM »
As long as people with an LSAT in the 140s and a GPA in the 2s want to go to law school and can pay for it (or the ABA tells them to go away), T4s can get away with charging T14 tuition.
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gdeurance

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 08:03:18 PM »
To partially answer your question as to two of the schools, Vermont has the best environmental law program in the country and is internationally recognized. Northeastern has the best public interest law program in the country (both rankings given by the same institutions that rank all law schools). That said, not really sure what such rankings translate in terms of job placement. As for Suffolk, places well regionally and the expense of operating a law school in a city like Boston is likely astronomical. Oh, and people are willing to pay. Myself, I will take a state school like Ohio State, Rutgers, or Wisconsin that leaves you with less debt and more options upon graduation (more options because you are not straddling 120K in debt).

StonewallJacksonFan

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 11:05:16 PM »
Unfortunately, a lot of people do not do their homework before going to law school. Most people still have the stereotype in their minds that any lawyer is filthy rich.  Therefore, they are willing to invest 120k to get into the game.  In reality, nowadays lawyer market is quite different from doctor market.  Most lawyers tend to make less money than a self respecting janitor...Many of today's law schools are basically a pyramid scheme, where the students are on the bottom of the pyramid and ABA and school administration are on the top.  As long as these people will be allowed to profit, there will be T4 schools charging 45k a year for tuition.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Ridiculous Tuition?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 03:46:11 AM »
In addition, there's also the flip side, which is the calculus from the law schools' side.  The University of Michigan decided in the 1950s that it couldn't support the type of law school it wanted to be (i.e., a national one) with just Michigan's population.  Like most flagship state schools, it was strong, but not world-class.  So, unlike most state schools, it raised its tuition to near-private levels, re-invested that money into building a national school, and presto! (well, a few decades of "presto!") . . . it achieved what it had sought.  In that sense, those higher tuition dollars were well worth it.  The lesson was eagerly grasped by other law schools, of course, and so we've seen real pressure on even mid- and lower-level schools to replicate this.

Of course, not everyone can be at the top, so what we're really seeing is a churning, something like what happens when we toss fish food into the pond at the nearest park.

There are two more reasons.  One, the requirements of the ABA add considerable pressure.  One-point-five, this pressure is not just for accreditation, but for prestige.  The former can be had for a relatively modest few million.  The latter takes much, much more.  And the scale is not arithmetic.  So, in a sense, the constant pressure for prestige creates an ever-more-voracious appetite for resources to buy prestige, which in turn (it is hoped, as with Michigan, Boalt Hall, and Texas) will buy better students, which in turn (it is hoped, as with Michigan, Boalt Hall, and Texas) will buy more prestige, which in turn . . . .

Two, and related to the Michigan tale, on the "consumer" side we might have as much ignorance as stupidity.  Aside from rankings, there's not a whole lot for the average applicant to go on.  So, rather than seeing higher pricing as a hurdle (or something to be justified), it is seen as an indicator of quality.  Voila!  Yet more reason to charge more.