Law Students

10 Law Schools Where Grads Have $65K of Debt or Less
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Summary: U.S. News and World Report has ranked the top ten schools where students have the least amount of debt. 

Like death and taxes, paying a boatload of money for a J.D. degree is a sad fact of life–or is it?! 

  
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U.S. News and World Report has compiled a list of the top 10 law schools where students take on the least amount of debt. The ten schools listed cost around $65,000 or less, and while none of them are the top 10 of the publication’s best law schools in the nation, most of the more affordable choices listed are still viable options.

For instance, Brigham Young University ranks 46 on the publication’s list of Best Law schools; and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (57), Rutgers (62), and Georgia State University (65) also cracked the top 100. These schools are great options for people who plan to practice in the jurisdiction of their school’s location.

In contrast to the $65K or under list, the top 10 Best Law Schools which include Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia leave students with debt up to $250,000, according to Law School Transparency. While this price tag is hefty, a large portion of the top 10’s graduates go on to take BigLaw first-year associate jobs which pay $180,000.

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To create the annual Best Law Schools List, U.S. News and World Reports ranks 181 law schools each year based on criteria such as LSAT scores and ratio of applications to admissions, and it said that the average debt amongst most schools is in the six figures.

“Among the 181 ranked law schools that provided debt data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average debt for 2016 graduates who borrowed was $112,776. In contrast, at the 10 law schools with the least indebted graduates, the average debt was $62,055,” U.S. News stated.



While most schools average a total cost of $112,000 and the elite schools are almost double that, sometimes even low-ranked schools come with a hefty price tag. The most egregious example is Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, which is not a top tier school but burdens students with almost $237,956 in debt.

Nine out of ten of the Least Debt schools were public, and the one exception was Brigham Young University, a private school that offers discounts to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU charges $12,310 in annual tuition and fees to full-time students who are Mormons and $24,620 to non-Mormons.

Law Schools Where Grads Have the Least Debt by U.S. News and World Report:

1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey- $56,173
2. University of South Dakota-$56,609
3. Brigham Young University – $58,133
4. North Carolina Central University – $60,479
5. Florida A&M University – $61,500
6. University of Nebraska—Lincoln – $62,888
7. Georgia State University – $64,384
8. University of Arkansas—Little Rock – $65,931
9. University of North Dakota – $66,917
10. University of Mississippi – $67,539

Source: U.S. News and World Report

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