You are correct that the cost of law school is more than the cost of applications. With that said, the question is whether it is a waste of money to apply (not whether it is a waste of so much money that people would never consider it [indeed it wouldnt be a hard decision if that was the case]). The answer is yes, even if it is less money than typical law school debt. I can think of a lot better uses for 250 dollars than lining the endowments of three schools. The OP has listed absolutely nothing that suggests they will have an application with soft factors better than the average applicant. As such, with the information we have (LSAT and GPA) she is pretty much an auto-ding. If getting three rejections is worth 250 dollars to someone, then go for it and I guess avoid "what if" doubts. But the OP was asking for advice on what is the smart play and the answer to that question is saving the money.