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Two Law Schools In Middle of Border War to Attract Students

Four years ago, the University of Missouri-Kansas City began offering in-state undergraduate tuition to residents across the state border, according to The Kansas City Star.

The University of Kansas School of Law has announced that it will also offer some sort of tuition assistance to compete with the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

KU School of Law has announced that a new scholarship program will provide students from 11 Missouri counties the opportunity to attend the school for a price that almost matches in-state tuition levels. The rate of tuition will be $19,623 per year instead of $33,067, which is the out-of-state price.

“We’ve always considered ourselves Kansas City’s leading law school,” assistant dean Steven Freedman said in a news release. “Now with the Vantage Scholarship, we feel we can recruit just as well on both sides of the border.”



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With this news, it seems as though a border war has erupted between the two law schools. Administrators from the UMKC School of Law were not too happy with the comments from Freedman about KU having the leading law school in Kansas City.

“I don’t know what that means,” said Ellen Suni, dean of UMKC School of Law. “We have for a long time been Kansas City’s law school. We have a great relationship with the Kansas City community. We are the only law school in Kansas City.”

Officials at UMKC School of Law said that students have been crossing the state border for years to attend their institution. Suni also said that the school does not have an official program for out-of-state students, but the scholarships provided help lower tuition to in-state levels.

UMKC had 25 first-year law students from Kansas in 2012. Just three of those students did not receive the in-state rate for tuition. In 2013, four out of 37 first-year students did not receive in-state tuition rates.

At UMKC School of Law, Missouri residents pay $17,885 per year in tuition and fees. Out-of-state students at the school pay $35,995 per year.

Applications for students at UMKC School of Law have dropped by 50 percent since 2010, according to Suni. This has caused the recruiters at the school to expand their reach for new students.

The dean of the KU Law School, Stephen W. Mazza, said that donations from the school’s alumni make the Vantage Scholarships possible.

Courtney Stout is a student at KU Law School. She is from Kansas City and said that the new program has “changed the playing field.”

“KU is close, but with the out-of-state tuition I couldn’t consider it,” said Stout. “The Vantage grant put KU on the same field now with any of the Missouri law schools. It makes KU more feasible for me.”

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