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For Immediate Release

AccessLex Institute and NACUBO Release Law School Tuition Discounting Study

October 26, 2017

Washington, DC—AccessLex Institute and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) have collaborated on a research report that examines the effects of tuition discounting on law schools’ finances.

As law school applications have declined in recent years, law schools have increasingly relied on tuition discounting to maintain enrollment levels and attract the best and brightest students. AccessLex Institute commissioned the inaugural NACUBO/AccessLex Tuition Discounting Study of Private Law Schools to provide a detailed look at tuition discounting practices in legal education.

Thirty-six U.S.-based private nonprofit law schools responded to a survey prepared by NACUBO, and the results provide compelling data that lay a foundation for future discussion and increased research efforts around tuition discounting. This study was limited to private law schools in order to match the research methodology NACUBO uses in its annual tuition discounting study of private nonprofit undergraduate programs.

“The increased prominence of tuition discounting fosters a need to know more about the practice,” said Aaron N. Taylor, executive director of the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence. “We at AccessLex Institute are happy to have partnered with NACUBO to produce this report, and we hope it engenders both a better understanding of law school tuition discounting and a desire to learn more.”

The report finds that tuition discounting increased between 2015 and 2016 at participating institutions, resulting in a slight decline in net tuition revenue. This trend was observed for schools with both high and low tuition rates, relative to the overall median of responding institutions. Another key finding is that nearly half of responding law schools believe their tuition discounting practices are sustainable in the long term. Although the sample size of the survey precludes generalization to all private law schools, the data provide a glimpse into legal education discounting practices, and their potential implications for schools and students.

“These results are just the first step in helping us to better understand the effects of institutional grant aid expenditures on law schools’ overall finances,” said John Walda, NACUBO president and CEO. “We now have a baseline from which to launch further work that can be used to study the role of financial aid in recruiting and retaining new professional students.”

About AccessLex Institute: In partnership with its nearly 200 nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-approved member law schools, AccessLex Institute has been committed to improving access to legal education and to maximizing the affordability and value of a law degree since 1983. AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization with offices in West Chester, PA and Washington, DC and field offices throughout the US. Learn more at

About NACUBO: NACUBO, founded in 1962, is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO's mission is to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions.


Amy Dardinger

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