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Saturday, June 14, 2008


Niki Buchen

Well, spending some money for tuition is like spending money for our future. The compedition worldwide is getting more and more hard and only people who are well educated have a chance to get a better "sun-place". Greetings, Niki


"An economist might say that it makes sense to pay tuition as long as the tuition is less than the present value of the expected lifetime benefits of the education, minus the opportunity costs."

The only problem is that the demand will continue to remain high because the perceived "expected lifetime benefits of the education" is great.
Prospective students will continue to take out massive loans and even get their parents to be guarantors of loans so that they can obtain a law degree.
Similar to sub-prime mortgages, homebuyers bought houses that they could not afford because they perceived the benefits to be great. (They assumed incorrectly that the housing market would continue to boom and house values would go up indefinitely). The prospective law students also assume that they will make $140,000 fresh out of law school because that is what the media tells them. Well at the least, they believe that they will make a decent salary, or that their salary would be higher than if they only had an Undergraduate degree. For many law students, however, this is not true. The reality is that many work in small law firms, govt, etc with a salary of $40,000 to $60,000 but student loans of well over $100,000.
Increasing tuition may prevent some applicants but many others will believe (and many times believe incorrectly) that they will make a substantial income upon graduation. So the result will be more graduates with even high debts. Unlike the housing market, there is no foreclosure, no short-sale, no escape from student loan debt.


I think there's another potential factor: loan companies. If tuition keeps going up, you're going to have more and more graduates who realize after school that they can't keep up with their high loan payments and more will default. And then loan companies may rethink how much they're willing to lend and to whom. The question is how long that will take.


You raise a good point. But the larger point is, why should the states be subsidizing additional lawyers through taxes when there are enough lawyers at the current schools? New York has proposed 3 new state-subsidized law schools, and appropriated roughly $50 million. And that is just a start.


You forget to include the one thing that has contributed the most to tuition increases: subsidies. As federal and state governments, and private foundations and organizations, continue to subsidize education through 1) scholarships and 2) subsidized access to financial markets, and as such activities continue to make it possible for the vast majority of students to pay for the increasingly high costs of education, there is little incentive for schools to cut tuition.

You also fail include lost wages and the labor involved in receiving an education as "costs".

The market for education is far more complicated than you suggest (although, I understand the limits of a blog post).


I agree with this article completely. I am in the process of applying to various law schools across the country, and have had to limit applying due to tuition and boarding expenses. The average lawyer who graduates top of his/her class, can expect to make 60,000 to 70,000 dollars right out of law school. Now this number can vary based on many factors such as: previous law enforcement experience, foreign language ability, and also relevant work experience. This being said, if an individual were to be hired and paid on the higher end of the spectrum, there is still no guarantee they will earn enough after taxes to repay loans. This has caused many people to innovate in regards to paying for law school.
One way I've found for people who aren't directly related to the Trump family to pay for law school, is to seek employment within a City agency that will pay for higher education. When I worked for the New York City Police Department, they offered many tuition assistant programs. Officers who met the Department qualifications for the tuition assistance were placed inside of the Legal Bureau. This unit called the Legal Bureau allowed for officers to work directly with attorneys and also they were given special hours to attend classes. I have been told that many Departments across the country have programs like this one. So if you always wanted to know the inner workings of the Police Department, and be an attorney this may be ideal for you. I hope this idea has helped some of you, who are still trying to figure out how to pay for law schools.

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