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Philadelphia Law Schools have Lowest Tuition in the Country
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Philadelphia Law Schools have Lowest Tuition in the Country

Summary: Due to lowered–and even free–tuition at Philadelphia law schools, the city now boasts the lowest tuition rates in the United States.

According to Main Street, it will cost students less money to attend law school in Philadelphia than nearly any other metropolitan city in the United States. Law school blogger Dan Filler observed, “I’ve previously noted that there are significant regional differences in the cost of law school. Put simply, it’s cheaper to go to law school in Philadelphia than in many other—and perhaps virtually all other—cities. And now, it’s gotten even less expensive.”


In the past several months, Penn State announced that in-state residents would be offered an impressive $20,000 annual tuition discount—no matter what a student’s undergraduate grade point average or LSAT score may be. Similarly, Villanova Law School has offered three free years of tuition for applicants who score at least a 157 on the LSAT and have at least a 3.6 GPA. In January, Villanova announced the creation of its Innovation Scholars program, which aspired to fund up to 50 full scholarships for the Fall 2014 entering class.

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John Gotanda, the dean of Villanova, said, “These new Innovation Scholars will find in Villanova a law school that is responding to the new market realities for their degrees. We have listened to our students and to the law firms, corporate and government employers. Law graduates of the 21st century must have a sophisticated hands-on approach to both the legal industry and the business practices of their future clients.”

An anonymous observer commented that Villanova is certainly buying good enrollment numbers by offering three years of free tuition, however, the main issue is how many law schools will be able to depend on students who are able and willing to pay full tuition. Otherwise, will these schools be forced to lower their standards and admit classes with low GPAs and abysmal LSAT scores?

Filler mentioned, “I know that my school, Drexel Law, works to match scholarship offers from Villanova, Penn State, Rutgers-Camden and Temple. Villanova’s maneuver will put tremendous pressure on Temple, Penn State, and Rutgers-Camden to up their awards. The price of law school in Philly has been dropping fast.” Filler also serves as the senior associate dean for academic affairs at Drexel.

According to U.S News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania Law School is ranked 7th in the United States. It’s annual tuition of $50,718 is the third most expensive. Temple University is listed at number 58, with tuition at $20,463 for in-state students and $33,780 for out-of-state students. Finally, Rutgers-Camden is ranked at 81st, and its tuition for Pennsylvania residents is $25,505 and for out-of-staters, $37,237.

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