2011 PROJECTIONS

[Readers and researchers have used the tuition projections in the past, and rather than overwrite them with new ones, this page archives them.

Due to changes in the methodology discussed in this post, I have added an appendix containing revisions to the projections.]

When it comes to law school tuition increases the first question is: does inflation-adjusted tuition appear to increase at a linear or exponential rate? Looking at the ABA’s tuition data going back to the 1985-1986 school year, it appears linear.

You get the same effect from using the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.

The tuition increases at public law schools are heavily influenced by state governments withdrawing subsidies. Thus, the best way to measure tuition increases due to spending increases is to look at private law school tuition growth. Indeed, a few public law schools (Michigan, Virginia, Arizona State, the California schools, and Minnesota as of October 2012) are off or going off state subsidies, yet even if we exclude them and the three law schools in Puerto Rico, “adjusted” mean private law school tuition increases at about the same rate.

Why law school costs more than before shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out: legal education isn’t a free market service. It’s heavily subsidized by the federal government, allowing law schools to charge whatever their competitors are charging. Hopefully I’m right in the long run, or things will get far worse: taxpayers will be left with the tab of subsidizing Income-Based Repayment plans for law students whose degrees were overpriced relative to their labor market value. Those ineligible for IBR will require debt relief.

As a result, we can calculate law school tuition going into the future. These charts project private law school tuition five and ten years from the last years in which data are available. They are based on linear regression of the law schools’ individual tuition figures from the school year beginning in the fall of 2004, courtesy of the Official Guide. My methodology assumes that a law school’s tuition will increase largely as it has in the past. This should be a somewhat controversial assumption as some law schools saw dramatic tuition increases in recent years, and I tested alternative methodologies and concluded linear regression of individual law school tuition was best methodology. (Link here)

As an aid to readers, this year I’ve included a column on the right side of the table giving the “relative variance,” which is a measure of how (in)accurate the projected tuition is based on the tests I ran. I think the lower it is the better, but anything below -3.0 percent or so is probably too low. The idea is to give readers a measure of how reliable the estimate is, given that some law school engaged in serious expansions in recent years that I hope they couldn’t get away with now, especially Faulkner University, which doubled its tuition in the span of a few years.

These projections are not adjusted for inflation, and the table is sorted by the 2021-2022 school year.

# SCHOOL TUITION: 2011-2012 TUITION: 2016-2017 TUITION: 2021-2022 RELATIVE VARIANCE
1. Cornell Law School 53,226 66,800 79,800 1.7%
2. Yale Law School 52,525 64,600 76,300 1.1%
3. Columbia University 52,902 63,800 75,000 -0.9%
4. Northwestern University 51,920 63,400 74,800 0.4%
5. University of Pennsylvania 50,718 62,200 73,500 0.4%
6. New England School of Law 40,984 57,300 72,300 5.1%
7. Seton Hall University 46,840 59,900 72,200 2.8%
8. Cardozo 48,370 60,600 72,200 2.3%
9. Vermont Law School 43,993 58,400 72,000 3.2%
10. Duke University 49,617 60,500 71,400 0.2%
11. University of Southern California 50,591 61,000 71,300 0.0%
12. Brooklyn Law School 48,441 60,000 71,200 1.0%
13. Fordham University 47,986 59,600 70,700 2.1%
14. St. John’s University 46,450 58,700 70,700 1.3%
15. Baylor University 43,573 57,000 70,200 0.7%
16. Stanford Law School 49,179 59,400 70,100 -1.6%
17. Syracuse University 45,647 59,000 70,100 8.8%
18. New York University 50,336 59,900 69,700 -0.6%
19. Harvard Law School 48,786 59,100 69,400 0.2%
20. Vanderbilt University 46,148 58,200 68,900 5.2%
21. Touro College 41,890 55,600 67,900 5.7%
22. Faulkner University 32,187 51,300 67,800 17.1%
23. University of Chicago 47,786 58,000 67,800 1.5%
24. Georgetown 46,865 57,400 67,500 1.7%
25. Quinnipiac University 45,050 55,700 66,500 -0.4%
26. Hofstra University 45,600 56,000 66,400 0.4%
27. Washington and Lee University 41,947 54,200 65,900 2.6%
28. American University 45,096 55,500 65,700 0.9%
29. George Washington University 45,750 55,300 64,800 0.2%
30. Washington University 46,042 55,200 64,500 -0.2%
31. New York Law School 47,800 56,000 63,900 1.0%
32. Loyola Marymount 43,060 53,800 63,700 3.0%
33. Tulane University 43,684 53,800 63,400 1.6%
34. California Western 42,700 52,500 62,500 -0.5%
35. DePaul University 41,690 52,100 62,500 -0.2%
36. Illinois Institute of Technology 42,030 52,200 62,500 0.2%
37. Emory University 45,098 53,600 62,100 -0.2%
38. Pepperdine University 42,840 52,400 61,900 0.9%
39. Case Western Reserve University 42,564 52,200 61,700 0.0%
40. Roger Williams University 39,550 50,900 61,700 2.3%
41. Suffolk University 42,660 52,300 61,600 1.9%
42. Seattle University 39,282 50,500 61,600 1.0%
43. Chapman University 41,873 51,800 61,400 1.0%
44. Notre Dame 43,335 52,100 61,200 -1.2%
45. University of New Hampshire 39,990 50,400 61,000 -0.5%
46. Phoenix School of Law 37,764 49,600 60,900 2.9%
47. Thomas Jefferson 41,000 50,600 60,600 -2.2%
48. University of La Verne 40,732 50,500 60,500 -1.2%
49. Golden Gate University 40,515 50,500 60,400 0.5%
50. Southwestern University 42,200 50,700 60,100 -3.8%
51. Charlotte 36,916 48,500 59,800 2.2%
52. University of the Pacific 41,393 50,600 59,400 1.4%
53. University of San Diego 42,574 51,300 59,300 2.8%
54. Southern Methodist University 42,057 50,400 59,200 -1.9%
55. Northeastern University 42,296 50,900 59,000 2.1%
56. Catholic University of America 41,995 50,200 58,800 -1.4%
57. University of Denver 38,502 49,000 58,500 4.2%
58. Union University 41,845 50,500 58,500 2.9%
59. Boston University 42,654 50,400 58,100 0.2%
60. Wake Forest University 38,756 48,600 57,900 2.3%
61. Valparaiso University 38,086 48,100 57,600 2.4%
62. Boston College 41,818 49,900 57,400 2.4%
63. University of San Francisco 40,544 48,800 57,100 0.2%
64. Santa Clara University 41,790 49,000 56,700 -1.9%
65. Whittier Law School 39,140 48,000 56,500 1.3%
66. John Marshall (Chicago) 38,180 47,400 56,200 1.8%
67. Florida Coastal 36,968 46,300 56,000 -1.4%
68. Marquette University 37,570 46,300 55,600 -2.1%
69. Western State University 37,284 46,200 55,500 -1.6%
70. Loyola University Chicago 39,496 47,600 55,500 1.0%
71. Villanova University 37,780 46,800 55,400 1.9%
72. University of Miami 39,848 47,700 55,100 2.0%
73. University of St. Thomas 34,898 45,900 54,800 10.0%
74. Western New England College 38,240 46,600 54,700 1.6%
75. Pace University 40,978 48,200 54,700 2.7%
76. Charleston Law School 36,774 45,500 53,600 3.0%
77. Michigan State University 35,840 44,900 53,500 2.5%
78. Mercer University 36,860 45,500 53,400 3.0%
79. Loyola University New Orleans 38,266 45,500 53,400 -3.4%
80. John Marshall (Atlanta) 34,810 44,000 53,100 1.1%
81. Elon University 34,550 43,800 53,000 -0.6%
82. Lewis & Clark College 36,412 44,000 52,100 -2.2%
83. Oklahoma City University 35,470 43,500 51,600 0.0%
84. William Mitchell 35,710 43,400 51,400 -0.8%
85. Campbell University 33,910 42,700 51,400 0.6%
86. University of Detroit 36,050 43,400 51,300 -3.0%
87. Samford University 34,848 43,000 51,200 -0.3%
88. Drexel University 36,051 43,600 51,200 -0.6%
89. Ave Maria 36,448 44,300 51,100 5.2%
90. Drake University 34,006 42,400 50,600 1.2%
91. Hamline 34,555 42,800 50,600 1.7%
92. Saint Louis University 36,175 43,400 49,900 2.8%
93. Widener University 36,450 43,000 49,800 -0.8%
94. Widener University (Harrisburg) 36,450 43,000 49,800 -0.8%
95. Duquesne University 33,752 41,800 49,700 0.3%
96. University of Richmond 35,430 42,500 49,500 0.3%
97. Stetson University 35,466 42,200 49,400 -2.5%
98. St. Thomas University 34,618 41,800 49,100 -0.9%
99. Cooley 34,340 40,900 49,100 -8.2%
100. Barry University 33,630 41,200 48,200 3.0%
101. Creighton University 32,494 40,500 48,200 1.5%
102. Capital University 32,683 40,900 48,200 4.9%
103. Nova Southeastern University 33,250 40,800 47,500 3.9%
104. Gonzaga University 34,105 40,700 47,200 0.3%
105. Regent University 32,780 39,900 47,000 0.0%
106. Mississippi College 29,150 38,200 46,700 2.7%
107. Ohio Northern University 32,750 39,300 46,400 -2.7%
108. Howard University 29,131 37,200 46,000 -4.5%
109. University of Dayton 31,598 40,100 45,900 14.2%
110. University of Tulsa 32,056 38,400 45,100 -1.6%
111. Willamette University 32,540 38,000 43,800 -1.5%
112. Appalachian School of Law 29,825 36,600 43,500 -0.7%
113. Liberty University 30,604 37,000 43,500 -0.7%
114. St. Mary’s University 29,406 36,500 43,000 3.4%
115. Texas Wesleyan University 28,790 35,500 42,300 -0.3%
116. Brigham Young University 21,200 30,300 38,100 10.4%
117. South Texas 26,850 32,700 38,000 4.1%
118. Pontifical Catholic University of PR 14,446
119. Interamerican University of PR 14,403
120. Brigham Young University (LDS) 10,600
MEDIAN 39,550 49,000 58,100 0.9%
MEAN 39,697 49,060 58,175 1.2%
AVG DEVIATION 5,050 6,168 75,24 2.1%

Here are projections for some of the public law schools that behave like private law schools:

# NAME RESIDENT TUITION: 2011-2011 RESIDENT TUITION: 2016-2017 RESIDENT TUITION: 2021-2022
1. CA-Berkeley 50,163
2. Michigan 46,830 60,010 72,302
3. CA-Davis 46,485
4. CA-Los Angeles 44,922
5. Virginia 44,600 58,924 72,995
6. CA-Irvine 43,280
7. CA-Hastings 40,836 50,486 60,136

*****

Appendix

Here are the revisions to the projected 2016-2017 and 2021-2022 tuition costs.

**********

# SCHOOL OLD 2016-2017 PROJECTION “REVISED” 2016-2017 PROJECTION PERCENT CHANGE
1. Cornell $66,800 $64,800 -3.0%
2. Yale $64,600 $63,200 -2.2%
3. Columbia University $63,800 $63,000 -1.3%
4. Northwestern University $63,400 $62,400 -1.6%
5. University of Southern California $61,000 $60,600 -0.7%
6. University of Pennsylvania $62,200 $60,600 -2.6%
7. Duke University $60,500 $59,400 -1.8%
8. New York University $59,900 $59,400 -0.8%
9. Stanford $59,400 $58,700 -1.2%
10. Brooklyn $60,000 $58,600 -2.3%
11. Cardozo $60,600 $58,400 -3.6%
12. Harvard $59,100 $58,400 -1.2%
13. New York Law School $56,000 $58,000 3.6%
14. Seton Hall University $59,900 $57,700 -3.7%
15. Fordham University $59,600 $57,500 -3.5%
16. St. John’s University $58,700 $56,600 -3.6%
17. Baylor University $57,000 $56,300 -1.2%
18. University of Chicago $58,000 $56,200 -3.1%
19. Georgetown $57,400 $55,700 -3.0%
20. Vanderbilt University $58,200 $55,100 -5.3%
21. Washington University $55,200 $55,100 -0.2%
22. Hofstra University $56,000 $54,900 -2.0%
23. Syracuse University $59,000 $54,800 -7.1%
24. Quinnipiac University $55,700 $54,800 -1.6%
25. George Washington University $55,300 $54,100 -2.2%
26. Vermont Law School $58,400 $53,900 -7.7%
27. Emory University $53,600 $53,900 0.6%
28. American University $55,500 $53,800 -3.1%
29. Washington and Lee University $54,200 $51,900 -4.2%
30. Notre Dame $52,100 $51,900 -0.4%
31. Tulane University $53,800 $51,800 -3.7%
32. California Western $52,500 $51,600 -1.7%
33. Loyola Marymount $53,800 $51,500 -4.3%
34. New England Law | Boston $57,300 $51,400 -10.3%
35. Case Western Reserve University $52,200 $51,400 -1.5%
36. Suffolk University $52,300 $51,300 -1.9%
37. University of San Diego $51,300 $51,100 -0.4%
38. Union University $50,500 $50,900 0.8%
39. Pepperdine University $52,400 $50,700 -3.2%
40. University of La Verne $50,500 $50,700 0.4%
41. Southern Methodist University $50,400 $50,600 0.4%
42. Southwestern University $50,700 $50,600 -0.2%
43. Touro College $55,600 $50,500 -9.2%
44. Illinois Institute of Technology $52,200 $50,500 -3.3%
45. Boston University $50,400 $50,400 0.0%
46. DePaul University $52,100 $50,400 -3.3%
47. Chapman University $51,800 $50,300 -2.9%
48. Northeastern University $50,900 $50,100 -1.6%
49. Santa Clara University $49,000 $50,000 2.0%
50. Thomas Jefferson $50,600 $49,700 -1.8%
51. University of the Pacific $50,600 $49,600 -2.0%
52. University of New Hampshire $50,400 $49,500 -1.8%
53. Faulkner University $51,300 $49,400 -3.7%
54. Phoenix School of Law $49,600 $49,200 -0.8%
55. Boston College $49,900 $49,000 -1.8%
56. Catholic University of America $50,200 $49,000 -2.4%
57. Golden Gate University $50,500 $48,600 -3.8%
58. Charlotte $48,500 $48,500 0.0%
59. Pace University $48,200 $48,500 0.6%
60. University of San Francisco $48,800 $48,100 -1.4%
61. Seattle University $50,500 $47,700 -5.5%
62. Roger Williams University $50,900 $47,600 -6.5%
63. University of Denver $49,000 $47,000 -4.1%
64. University of Miami $47,700 $46,900 -1.7%
65. Loyola University Chicago $47,600 $46,400 -2.5%
66. Whittier Law School $48,000 $46,300 -3.5%
67. Valparaiso University $48,100 $46,300 -3.7%
68. Wake Forest University $48,600 $46,100 -5.1%
69. Loyola University New Orleans $45,500 $46,100 1.3%
70. John Marshall (Chicago) $47,400 $45,900 -3.2%
71. Western New England College $46,600 $45,900 -1.5%
72. Marquette University $46,300 $45,300 -2.2%
73. Villanova University $46,800 $45,200 -3.4%
74. Charleston Law School $45,500 $44,900 -1.3%
75. Florida Coastal $46,300 $44,700 -3.5%
76. Ave Maria $44,300 $44,300 0.0%
77. Mercer University $45,500 $44,200 -2.9%
78. John Marshall (Atlanta) $44,000 $44,200 0.5%
79. Michigan State University $44,900 $44,200 -1.6%
80. Western State University $46,200 $44,100 -4.5%
81. Elon University $43,800 $43,800 0.0%
82. University of Detroit $43,400 $43,800 0.9%
83. Drexel University $43,600 $43,700 0.2%
84. Lewis & Clark College $44,000 $43,600 -0.9%
85. Oklahoma City University $43,500 $43,500 0.0%
86. Widener University $43,000 $43,500 1.2%
87. Widener University (Harrisburg) $43,000 $43,500 1.2%
88. William Mitchell $43,400 $43,000 -0.9%
89. Saint Louis University $43,400 $42,900 -1.2%
90. University of St. Thomas $45,900 $41,900 -8.7%
91. University of Richmond $42,500 $41,900 -1.4%
92. Hamline $42,800 $41,700 -2.6%
93. Stetson University $42,200 $41,700 -1.2%
94. Samford University $43,000 $41,500 -3.5%
95. Cooley $40,900 $41,400 1.2%
96. Duquesne University $41,800 $41,000 -1.9%
97. Drake University $42,400 $40,800 -3.8%
98. Campbell University $42,700 $40,600 -4.9%
99. Gonzaga University $40,700 $40,200 -1.2%
100. St. Thomas University $41,800 $40,000 -4.3%
101. Regent University $39,900 $39,800 -0.3%
102. Barry University $41,200 $39,700 -3.6%
103. Capital University $40,900 $39,600 -3.2%
104. Creighton University $40,500 $38,900 -4.0%
105. Nova Southeastern University $40,800 $38,800 -4.9%
106. Ohio Northern University $39,300 $38,500 -2.0%
107. Willamette University $38,000 $38,400 1.1%
108. University of Tulsa $38,400 $38,300 -0.3%
109. Liberty University $37,000 $37,100 0.3%
110. Appalachian School of Law $36,600 $36,600 0.0%
111. University of Dayton $40,100 $36,500 -9.0%
112. Howard University $37,200 $35,900 -3.5%
113. Mississippi College $38,200 $35,600 -6.8%
114. St. Mary’s University $36,500 $34,900 -4.4%
115. Texas Wesleyan University $35,500 $34,600 -2.5%
116. South Texas $32,700 $31,300 -4.3%
117. Brigham Young University $30,300 $26,700 -11.9%
AVERAGE $49,060 $47,890 -2.4%

**********

# SCHOOL OLD 2021-2022 PROJECTION “REVISED” 2021-2022 PROJECTION PERCENT CHANGE
1. Cornell $79,800 $76,300 -4.4%
2. Yale $76,300 $73,800 -3.3%
3. Columbia University $75,000 $73,200 -2.4%
4. Northwestern University $74,800 $72,800 -2.7%
5. University of Southern California $71,300 $70,600 -1.0%
6. University of Pennsylvania $73,500 $70,400 -4.2%
7. Duke University $71,400 $69,200 -3.1%
8. Baylor University $70,200 $69,100 -1.6%
9. Brooklyn $71,200 $68,700 -3.5%
10. Seton Hall University $72,200 $68,600 -5.0%
11. Cardozo $72,200 $68,500 -5.1%
12. New York University $69,700 $68,500 -1.7%
13. New York Law School $63,900 $68,200 6.7%
14. Stanford $70,100 $68,200 -2.7%
15. Harvard $69,400 $68,000 -2.0%
16. Fordham University $70,700 $67,100 -5.1%
17. St. John’s University $70,700 $66,800 -5.5%
18. Faulkner University $67,800 $66,600 -1.8%
19. University of Chicago $67,800 $64,600 -4.7%
20. Quinnipiac University $66,500 $64,600 -2.9%
21. Georgetown $67,500 $64,500 -4.4%
22. Hofstra University $66,400 $64,200 -3.3%
23. Washington University $64,500 $64,200 -0.5%
24. Vanderbilt University $68,900 $64,100 -7.0%
25. Syracuse University $70,100 $64,000 -8.7%
26. Vermont Law School $72,000 $63,800 -11.4%
27. American University $65,700 $62,600 -4.7%
28. Emory University $62,100 $62,600 0.8%
29. George Washington University $64,800 $62,500 -3.5%
30. Washington and Lee University $65,900 $61,800 -6.2%
31. New England Law | Boston $72,300 $61,700 -14.7%
32. Phoenix School of Law $60,900 $60,600 -0.5%
33. University of La Verne $60,500 $60,600 0.2%
34. Notre Dame $61,200 $60,600 -1.0%
35. California Western $62,500 $60,500 -3.2%
36. Case Western Reserve University $61,700 $60,300 -2.3%
37. Charlotte $59,800 $60,100 0.5%
38. Loyola Marymount $63,700 $60,000 -5.8%
39. Suffolk University $61,600 $60,000 -2.6%
40. Union University $58,500 $59,900 2.4%
41. Tulane University $63,400 $59,800 -5.7%
42. University of San Diego $59,300 $59,600 0.5%
43. Touro College $67,900 $59,200 -12.8%
44. Southern Methodist University $59,200 $59,100 -0.2%
45. DePaul University $62,500 $59,100 -5.4%
46. University of New Hampshire $61,000 $59,100 -3.1%
47. Southwestern University $60,100 $59,000 -1.8%
48. Illinois Institute of Technology $62,500 $58,900 -5.8%
49. Chapman University $61,400 $58,700 -4.4%
50. Pepperdine University $61,900 $58,700 -5.2%
51. Thomas Jefferson $60,600 $58,400 -3.6%
52. Santa Clara University $56,700 $58,300 2.8%
53. Boston University $58,100 $58,100 0.0%
54. Northeastern University $59,000 $57,900 -1.9%
55. University of the Pacific $59,400 $57,800 -2.7%
56. Golden Gate University $60,400 $56,700 -6.1%
57. Boston College $57,400 $56,200 -2.1%
58. Seattle University $61,600 $56,100 -8.9%
59. Catholic University of America $58,800 $56,100 -4.6%
60. Pace University $54,700 $56,000 2.4%
61. Roger Williams University $61,700 $55,700 -9.7%
62. University of San Francisco $57,100 $55,700 -2.5%
63. University of Denver $58,500 $55,400 -5.3%
64. Valparaiso University $57,600 $54,500 -5.4%
65. University of Miami $55,100 $53,900 -2.2%
66. Loyola University New Orleans $53,400 $53,900 0.9%
67. John Marshall (Chicago) $56,200 $53,600 -4.6%
68. Western New England College $54,700 $53,600 -2.0%
69. John Marshall (Atlanta) $53,100 $53,600 0.9%
70. Whittier Law School $56,500 $53,500 -5.3%
71. Wake Forest University $57,900 $53,300 -7.9%
72. Loyola University Chicago $55,500 $53,200 -4.1%
73. Elon University $53,000 $53,100 0.2%
74. Charleston Law School $53,600 $53,000 -1.1%
75. Marquette University $55,600 $53,000 -4.7%
76. Villanova University $55,400 $52,500 -5.2%
77. Michigan State University $53,500 $52,500 -1.9%
78. Florida Coastal $56,000 $52,500 -6.3%
79. Ave Maria $51,100 $52,200 2.2%
80. Oklahoma City University $51,600 $51,600 0.0%
81. University of Detroit $51,300 $51,600 0.6%
82. Mercer University $53,400 $51,500 -3.6%
83. Drexel University $51,200 $51,300 0.2%
84. Western State University $55,500 $50,900 -8.3%
85. Lewis & Clark College $52,100 $50,800 -2.5%
86. Widener University $49,800 $50,500 1.4%
87. Widener University (Harrisburg) $49,800 $50,500 1.4%
88. William Mitchell $51,400 $50,400 -1.9%
89. Saint Louis University $49,900 $49,500 -0.8%
90. University of St. Thomas $54,800 $48,900 -10.8%
91. Hamline $50,600 $48,800 -3.6%
92. Cooley $49,100 $48,500 -1.2%
93. University of Richmond $49,500 $48,300 -2.4%
94. Duquesne University $49,700 $48,200 -3.0%
95. Samford University $51,200 $48,100 -6.1%
96. Stetson University $49,400 $47,900 -3.0%
97. Drake University $50,600 $47,700 -5.7%
98. Campbell University $51,400 $47,400 -7.8%
99. Regent University $47,000 $46,900 -0.2%
100. Capital University $48,200 $46,600 -3.3%
101. Gonzaga University $47,200 $46,300 -1.9%
102. Barry University $48,200 $45,800 -5.0%
103. Creighton University $48,200 $45,300 -6.0%
104. St. Thomas University $49,100 $45,300 -7.7%
105. University of Tulsa $45,100 $44,500 -1.3%
106. Nova Southeastern University $47,500 $44,300 -6.7%
107. Willamette University $43,800 $44,300 1.1%
108. Ohio Northern University $46,400 $44,200 -4.7%
109. Liberty University $43,500 $43,600 0.2%
110. Appalachian School of Law $43,500 $43,500 0.0%
111. Howard University $46,000 $42,800 -7.0%
112. Mississippi College $46,700 $42,000 -10.1%
113. University of Dayton $45,900 $41,300 -10.0%
114. St. Mary’s University $43,000 $40,500 -5.8%
115. Texas Wesleyan University $42,300 $40,300 -4.7%
116. South Texas $38,000 $35,800 -5.8%
117. Brigham Young University $38,100 $32,200 -15.5%
AVERAGE $58,175 $56,084 -3.6%

*****

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