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University of La Verne College of Law Announces No Discounts and Fixed Tuition
The University of La Verne College of Law announced a new policy that includes no grants, no scholarships, and no tuition discounts at all. The law school, in Southern California, is the first to adopt a flat and frozen tuition model that does not include discounts, according to The National Jurist.
Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, tuition will be offered at $25,000 for full-time students. This is in place of tuition at $39,000 with grants and scholarships that provide discounts.
The dean of the law school, Gilbert Holmes, is hoping to re-envision the legal education model at the school. Holmes took over as the dean at the law school in 2013. Holmes said that scholarships were first started to support low-income students. He said that now they have widened the wealth gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students following graduation.
“The true tuition model resonates with the core values of the university,” Holmes said. “It’s not just some flash in the pan ploy. It would be great if other schools sat down and figured out how to eliminate or stop perpetuating the wealth gap, and it might be through the true tuition model or other means.”
In order to figure out a fair “True Tuition” price, the school analyzed data that included loan availability, starting salary of law grads and other factors. Holmes said that what they came up with is a round number. Holmes said that he hopes the removal of discounts completely will help to close the gap and make a legal education affordable for all. He also hopes that it helps reduce the debt of law school graduates.
“The students who score lower LSAT scores end up with more debt, therefore that limits their possibilities to make and save money which then increases the wealth gap,” Holmes said. “We don’t want to perpetuate that. I don’t think we’re going to be able to close the wealth gap, but we can’t continue it.”
The school has had difficulty with enrollment since losing its provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association because of low bar passage numbers back in 2011. The school was able to regain its provisional accreditation just one year later. Despite this, the school had just 49 students in the first-year class that began in the fall of 2013.
“We are, undoubtedly, seeking to increase enrollment,” Holmes said. “But it’s not solely about driving numbers. It’s about enrolling more and more students from diverse backgrounds who embrace the values of social justice and equal opportunity, and who will not only be good law students but also upstanding guardians of society.”
Part-time tuition will stay fixed at $19,600 while all current scholarships will be honored.
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