Friday, September 20, 2013
Washington Post, At Region’s Law Schools, a Struggle to Get Students:
Some of Washington’s top law schools are enrolling far fewer first-year
students this fall than in previous years, and, in some cases, admitting
students with lower grade-point averages and Law School Admission Test
scores than in years past. ...
Enrollment trends at Georgetown, George Washington and George Mason
reflect a nationwide phenomenon: Top-tier schools are still able to
recruit top students, but even they are having to cut class size to
maintain quality and amp up financial aid to win over students. And
mid-tier schools are being hit harder, slashing enrollment more
dramatically while also seeing the quality of students — at least as
measured by LSAT and GPA scores — slip.
Georgetown Law (No. 14 in the latest U.S. News and World Report
rankings) enrolled 544 first-year students this fall — possibly its
smallest class ever, according to dean of admissions Andy Cornblatt —
and down 8 percent compared with the 591 students who enrolled in fall
2010. The school said the applicant pool maintained a median LSAT score
of 168 and a 3.75 GPA for incoming students. ...
The shrinking number of applicants is pushing law schools to offer more
financial aid and recruit top students more aggressively. Both
Georgetown and George Washington (No. 21 ranking) — which saw enrollment
rebound this fall to 481 students from 399, though that’s still smaller
than its usual 500-plus class — are offering more financial aid this
year, though neither program has released exact numbers. ...
George Mason (No. 41 ranking) enrolled 151 first-year students this
fall — up slightly from last year’s 147, but only half of the 303 who
enrolled in 2010. The program’s median LSAT score and GPA also slipped
to their lowest levels in several years, from 163 to 161 and 3.7 to
Dan Polsby, dean of George Mason, attributes
the slide to what he calls a “pain cascade” among the nation’s law
schools: Elite, well-funded programs are faring better because they can
offer top students more money, while schools like his are being hit