TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, July 25, 2016

U.S. News:  Law Schools With The Lowest Debt, Highest Rank—BYU, Georgia State, Nebraska, Tennessee

2017 U.S. News LogoU.S. News & World Report, 10 Law Schools Where Alumni Have the Least Debt:

With tuition and fees often running at $30,000 per year or more, many students take out loans. Among the 183 ranked law schools that submitted debt data to U.S. News, the average debt for 2015 graduates who borrowed was $112,748. ... Of the 10 schools where graduates borrowed the least, the average debt was $62,735. ...

Below are the 10 schools where 2015 graduates who borrowed for law school had the least debt. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School Average Debt U.S. News Rank
Hawaii $54,988 92 (tie)
South Dakota $57,170 143
North Carolina Central $57,924 RNP*
Nebraska $58,744 57 (tie)
BYU $62,423 38 (tie)
Arkansas (Fayetteville) $64,901 86 (tie)
Georgia State $66,637 57 (tie)
Tennessee $66,939 65 (tie)
Liberty $68,667 RNP
Arkansas (Little Rock) $68,960 136 (tie)

RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of all law schools. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it. ...

Graduates from the class of 2015 who borrowed to attend the Thomas Jefferson School of Law had the most debt, on average: $172,726.

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


And the folks from BYU are probably also graduating with, on average, 4-5 children, as well as little debt.

Posted by: Jess | Jul 25, 2016 12:32:44 PM

Calling UNe...

Should students go to schools like these (several of which have relatively decent employment outcomes as well as low cost)? Or should they go to uber-expensive vanity schools to capture your much-vaunted ".71 correlation with US News ranking" and leave with $200K in debt?

Posted by: Anon | Jul 25, 2016 1:49:04 PM

Two questions not answered in the USNWR article, but on which the whole usefulness of this list depends:
1. Are the state school figures based on students attending at out-of-state rates, or in-state rates?
2. Regarding B.Y.U., is the debt calculated based on the very low tuition paid by students who are Latter-day Saints (and whose families stay up-to-date on their tithing), or is the debt based on non-LDS full-freight payers?
Coming from a state with no state-run law school, it always annoyed me to see lists like this that, when you look at the fine print (absent from this article at any rate) you see that the low rate does not apply to me.

Posted by: Old Ruster from JD Junkyard | Jul 25, 2016 6:41:55 PM