…But it’s certainly debatable how much students are actually paying.
Here’s the dispersion of stated law-school tuition for full-time students in constant dollars as of the end of second quarter 2015. (I’m not hugely into non-resident tuition.)
The law school at the median charged about $1,300 more than last year. Inflation has been so low that real tuition fell last year, but that’s been reversed.
There has been talk recently (I forget when specifically, and I’m too lazy to look it up right now) of law schools cutting their nominal tuition, but from the above chart it’s obvious that these are isolated cases that have not influenced any trends. In fact, I did a quick check and none of the private law schools that cut their tuition in the last two years (La Verne, Brooklyn, Elon, Ohio Northern, and Roger Williams spring from my spreadsheets) saw any increase in full-time applications. Certainly there’s something to be said about the elasticity of demand for law school, but I’ll consider that later.
Still, full-time private law schools’ tuition increases are slowing, but this year they hiccuped upward.
In each of the last three years, at least 10 percent of tuition increases among private law schools was 0 percent or less. I don’t think this year’s hiccup means anything.
Finally, here’s nominal tuition increases by tuition quintile mean.
As with last year, the weight of tuition increases is still on the costlier end of law schools. Surprisingly, Columbia remains the only law school that charges more than $60,000 per year. (Cornell was 19 bucks short. *clap* … *clap*)
In closing, I want to extend my thanks to the law schools for not omitting tuition information from their 509 reports. Some didn’t last year, which is bizarre to me.