Private Law School Tuition Projections (Now in Legible Form!)

[****THIS IS THE ORIGINAL POST ON PRIVATE LAW SCHOOL TUITION PROJECTIONS. THE PERMANENT VERSION OF THIS POST CAN BE FOUND ON THIS PAGE. PLEASE LINK TO THAT INSTEAD.****]

Here’s a chart of tuition rates five and ten years from now. I present it because I figure people might be interested to see the tuition predictions in an easier format than in the mega-chart. I add again that this is based on linear regression from the data I gathered from various sources and remind readers that if tuition is increasing exponentially rather than linearly, then these predictions are catastrophically conservative.

Just so you know, I counted Widener once and provided both of Brigham Young’s tuitions. However, when calculating the averages, I double-counted Widener and excluded both Brigham Young’s LDS tuition and Puerto Rico’s two private law schools. I figure anyone who’s LDS knows about Brigham Young and no one is so hell-bent on cheap legal education to frivolously convert to a different religion. Puerto Rico, for its part, has a GDP (PPP) per capita that’s roughly half that of even the poorest U.S. states, so for locals, its tuition is comparable to mainland schools. If you’re a Spanish-speaker who refuses to go to a local public school and desires private legal education, then the two PR law schools are for you.

I sorted this by the 2020-2021 school year for dramatic effect.

# NAME TUITION: 2020-2021 TUITION 2015-2016 TUITION 2010-2011
1. Cornell (NY) 78,629.64 65,069.82 51,510.00
2. Northwestern University (IL) 72,121.14 60,782.57 49,444.00
3. New England School of Law (MA) 71,706.43 55,808.21 39,910.00
4. University of Pennsylvania (PA) 71,211.29 59,786.64 48,362.00
5. Seton Hall University (NJ) 70,702.29 57,880.14 45,058.00
6. Yale (CT) 70,003.57 59,251.79 48,500.00
7. Vermont Law School (VT) 69,717.86 55,756.43 41,795.00
8. Cardozo (NY) 69,710.43 57,967.21 46,224.00
9. Brooklyn (NY) 69,461.79 58,035.89 46,610.00
10. Faulkner University (AL) 69,274.29 50,137.14 31,000.00
11. Columbia University (NY) 68,750.86 58,699.43 48,648.00
12. St. John’s University (NY) 68,651.43 56,465.71 44,280.00
13. Fordham University (NY) 68,160.00 57,005.00 45,850.00
14. Duke University (NC) 67,880.36 57,405.18 46,930.00
15. Vanderbilt University (TN) 67,785.00 56,342.50 44,900.00
16. Touro College (NY) 67,450.00 54,200.00 40,950.00
17. Syracuse University (NY) 67,176.43 55,338.21 43,500.00
18. Georgetown (DC) 65,938.93 55,521.96 45,105.00
19. University of Southern California (CA) 65,731.50 56,252.75 46,774.00
20. University of Chicago (IL) 64,721.43 55,063.21 45,405.00
21. Harvard (MA) 64,000.71 54,725.36 45,450.00
22. Franklin Pierce Law Center (NH) 63,995.71 51,947.86 39,900.00
23. Baylor University (TX) 63,951.86 51,547.93 39,144.00
24. Stanford (CA) 63,764.29 54,322.14 44,880.00
25. New York University 63,700.00 55,270.00 46,840.00
26. Hofstra University (NY) 63,177.57 53,105.79 43,034.00
27. George Washington University (DC) 63,047.93 53,523.46 43,999.00
28. Quinnipiac University (CT) 62,499.29 52,229.64 41,960.00
29. University of Detroit (MI) 62,485.71 48,207.86 33,930.00
30. American University (DC) 62,385.43 52,499.71 42,614.00
31. Seattle University (WA) 62,143.43 50,322.71 38,502.00
32. Washington and Lee University (VA) 61,900.36 50,387.68 38,875.00
33. Loyola Marymount (CA) 61,675.36 51,472.68 41,270.00
34. Washington University (MO) 61,079.64 52,249.82 43,420.00
35. Southern Methodist University (TX) 60,850.07 51,414.54 41,979.00
36. John Marshall (IL) 60,400.71 49,925.36 39,450.00
37. California Western (CA) 60,265.71 50,472.86 40,680.00
38. Pepperdine University (CA) 60,185.71 50,667.86 41,150.00
39. Suffolk University (MA) 60,167.14 50,633.57 41,100.00
40. Illinois Institute of Technology 59,732.50 49,711.25 39,690.00
41. Case Western Reserve University (OH) 59,525.00 49,987.50 40,450.00
42. New York Law School 59,382.14 52,121.07 44,860.00
43. Emory University (GA) 59,363.57 51,131.79 42,900.00
44. DePaul University (IL) 59,178.57 49,039.29 38,900.00
45. Chapman University (CA) 58,935.00 49,352.50 39,770.00
46. Roger Williams University (per credit x30) (RI) 58,567.86 47,958.93 37,350.00
47. Notre Dame (IN) 58,563.93 49,684.46 40,805.00
48. Thomas Jefferson (CA) 58,128.57 48,414.29 38,700.00
49. University of the Pacific (CA) 57,968.50 48,942.25 39,916.00
50. University of San Diego (CA) 57,948.57 49,574.29 41,200.00
51. Northeastern University (MA) 57,697.86 49,323.93 40,950.00
52. Golden Gate University (CA) 57,542.86 47,821.43 38,100.00
53. Union University (NY) 56,749.29 48,359.64 39,970.00
54. University of St. Thomas (MN) 56,502.71 46,262.36 36,022.00
55. Boston College (MA) 56,396.43 48,583.21 40,770.00
56. Southwestern University (TX) 56,231.43 47,570.71 38,910.00
57. Catholic University of America (DC) 56,209.64 48,024.82 39,840.00
58. University of Denver (CO) 56,194.29 46,337.14 36,480.00
59. Whittier Law School (CA) 55,417.86 46,683.93 37,950.00
60. University of San Francisco (CA) 55,148.21 46,934.11 38,720.00
61. Valparaiso University (IN) 54,811.43 45,395.71 35,980.00
62. Wake Forest University (NC) 54,588.29 45,551.14 36,514.00
63. Boston University (MA) 54,538.57 47,259.29 39,980.00
64. Tulane University (LA) 54,487.86 46,493.93 38,500.00
65. University of La Verne (Provisional ABA) (CA) 54,400.00 46,015.00 37,630.00
66. Marquette University (WI) 54,102.86 45,201.43 36,300.00
67. Santa Clara University (per credit x30) (CA) 54,038.57 46,699.29 39,360.00
68. Michigan State University 53,669.29 44,309.64 34,950.00
69. Charleston Law School (Provisional ABA) (SC) 53,428.00 44,517.00 35,606.00
70. Pace University (NY) 53,301.71 46,423.86 39,546.00
71. Loyola University Chicago (IL) 52,742.86 45,061.43 37,380.00
72. Mercer University (GA) 52,566.07 44,130.54 35,695.00
73. Phoenix School of Law (AZ) 52,398.00 43,397.00 34,396.00
74. Villanova University (PA) 52,375.71 44,532.86 36,690.00
75. Western State University (CA) 52,353.14 43,626.57 34,900.00
76. University of Miami (FL) 52,235.86 44,826.93 37,418.00
77. Loyola University New Orleans (LA) 51,320.57 43,826.29 36,332.00
78. Charlotte (Provisional ABA) (NC) 51,160.00 42,330.00 33,500.00
79. Western New England College (MA) 50,773.43 43,177.71 35,582.00
80. Elon University (Provisional ABA) (NC) 50,600.00 41,600.00 32,600.00
81. Ave Maria (FL) 50,469.07 43,208.54 35,948.00
82. Lewis & Clark College (OR) 50,442.64 42,745.32 35,048.00
83. Florida Coastal 50,350.14 41,749.07 33,148.00
84. Cooley (MI) 49,865.71 41,327.86 32,790.00
85. William Mitchell (MN) 49,371.43 41,585.71 33,800.00
86. Samford University (AL) 48,993.57 40,946.79 32,900.00
87. Campbell University (NC) 48,858.21 40,329.11 31,800.00
88. Capital University (per credit x30) (OH) 48,762.93 40,418.46 32,074.00
89. Hamline (MN) 48,709.14 40,865.57 33,022.00
90. John Marshall (per credit x 30) (GA) 48,621.43 40,435.71 32,250.00
91. Saint Louis University (MO) 48,571.43 41,800.71 35,030.00
92. University of Dayton (OH) 48,422.14 40,876.07 33,330.00
93. University of Richmond (VA) 48,205.71 41,137.86 34,070.00
94. Drake University (IO) 48,133.57 40,056.79 31,980.00
95. Widener University (DE/PA) 47,971.43 41,385.71 34,800.00
96. Barry University (FL) 47,439.29 40,044.64 32,650.00
97. Oklahoma City University (per credit x30) (OK) 47,172.04 40,196.77 33,221.50
98. Duquesne University (PA) 46,984.57 39,350.29 31,716.00
99. Stetson University (FL) 46,321.43 39,660.71 33,000.00
100. Nova Southeastern University (FL) 45,824.14 38,965.57 32,107.00
101. Gonzaga University (WA) 45,609.64 39,124.82 32,640.00
102. Drexel University (PA) 44,750.00 39,225.00 33,700.00
103. Appalachian School of Law (VA) 44,473.21 36,986.61 29,500.00
104. Creighton University (NE) 44,399.71 37,201.86 30,004.00
105. Ohio Northern University 43,896.86 37,430.43 30,964.00
106. Regent University (per credit x30) (VA) 43,860.36 37,305.18 30,750.00
107. University of Tulsa (OK) 43,210.71 36,765.36 30,320.00
108. Mississippi College (MS) 42,962.86 34,831.43 26,700.00
109. Willamette University (OR) 42,132.14 36,591.07 31,050.00
110. St. Thomas University (FL) 41,980.57 36,386.29 30,792.00
111. Texas Wesleyan University 41,411.43 34,425.71 27,440.00
112. Howard University (DC) 40,896.21 33,157.11 25,418.00
113. St. Mary’s University (TX) 40,510.00 34,055.00 27,600.00
114. Brigham Young University (Non-LDS) (UT) 38,027.14 29,293.57 20,560.00
115. South Texas 37,761.43 32,050.71 26,340.00
116. Liberty University (VA) 37,205.50 32,520.75 27,836.00
117. Pontifical Catholic University of PR 17,360.00 15,912.50 ???
118. Interamerican University of PR 15,690.57 14,928.79 14,167.00
119. Brigham Young University (LDS) (UT) 15,572.86 12,926.43 10,280.00
Average (Median) 55,417.86 46,699.29 37,950.00
Average (Mean) 55,797.33 46,749.70 37,702.07
Standard Deviation 8,897.52 7,201.36 5,852.91

So, in 2020-2021, twenty law schools will be in the second or higher standard deviation, and Cornell will be in the third. Eighteen will be in the lower second standard deviation or better with South Texas and Liberty University in the third.

I’ll update these numbers when better tuition data are available.

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7 Responses

  1. Great info. It would be interesting to see how average starting attorney salaries “increase” over the next ten years as well as the average salary of law school professors and deans.

    Oh and my 4th tier school is #37 on the list… awesome! We’ve jumped from 4th tier to the top 50!

    • Drew, I found your comment in the spam box for some reason, so I just found it.

      Hi!

      As for faculty salaries, slogging through SALT’s surveys should give you some idea, and we can track attorney salaries via the BLS, for what it’s worth.

      In the meantime, I’d be interested in someone opening law schools’ books and seeing what they are and have been spending the money on. Would be illuminating.

  2. I would like to point out that i attended New England School of Law in 2004, the tuition was about $22k per year, in 2011 it is now $39,900!

  3. [...] In five years, the average law school tuition will be $46,000. And that’s only if tuition increases at a linear rate. [Law School Tuition Bubble] [...]

  4. I don’t see Cleveland-Marshall listed here. Why is it missing?

    • Cleveland-Marshall is a public law school, and this is a projection of private law school tuition increases. Why do I exclude public schools?

      The primary driver of tuition increases at public law schools is reduction of state subsidies. “Pure” tuition increases (those due to the bubble) are only measurable in private law schools, so they’re the only ones I can project with any accuracy.

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