The University of Akron is freezing tuition at its law school after a likely 6% hike later this year. Interim Dean Elizabeth Reilly says it's one way to address a national trend of declining enrollment.
"We know there are people out there who want to be lawyers," said Reilly. "We know there are people out there who need lawyers and we are traditionally a law school that has served the people who need lawyers."
The problem is that some of the people who want to become lawyers can't afford to attend law school and the people who need lawyers will soon have fewer choices, if a national trend toward declining enrollment continues. In fact, a recent press release indicates a 12.2% decrease at The University of Akron School of Law.
You can listen to part of the conversation below:
High student debt and fewer jobs that promise high salaries are associated with the trend. Nobody wants to accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in debt when job prospects appear less lucrative. According to Assistant Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Affairs Lauri Thorpe, the average law student in the United States can expect law school to cost $100,000, although UA's program is about one-third less.
"It's only $66,000 for the law school program upon graduation," said Thorpe. "Nationally, public law schools are at about $75,000."
Since tuition for students entering law school this fall will not change the entire time they're enrolled, those students can make more realistic financial plans, according to Reilly.