Whether or not to enter law school is not only an extremely important career and educational decision, but a critical financial decision, as well. Nationwide, members of the 2011 class of law school graduates borrowed an average of $75,728 to attend public law schools and $116,732 to attend private law schools (Source: the American Bar Association). By way of comparison, the average borrowing during law school for the Akron Law class of 2012 was $66,283.
These are clearly not small sums of money, and the decision to take on such debt in order to earn a law degree should not be made lightly. We at Akron Law are pleased to be able to offer a great education at a price that compares very favorably with most of the nation’s other law schools.
The following are summary statistics on the educational debt that our last two graduating classes incurred during law school. We provide this to you to help you make an informed decision about your own educational borrowing. All ABA-accredited law schools are required to collect and report this information to the American Bar Association every year. If you have any questions about Akron's debt figures or about educational borrowing in general, please feel free to contact us at 800.4.AKRON.U (800.425.7668) or email@example.com.
75th Percentile: $93,935
25th Percentile: $41,343
75th Percentile: $91,201
25th Percentile: $45,124
75th Percentile: $77,723
25th Percentile: $43,373
In addition to paying for tuition and fees, law students also have expenses for room and board, books, transportation, and other personal expenses. Our Student Financial Aid office combines these expenses together to determine a maximum annual financial aid budget. The financial aid budgets for resident and non-resident students are summarized here. A detailed budget is also included in the supplement packet in the back pocket of the viewbook.
Remember that the numbers in the budget represent the maximum amount of financial aid a student may receive in a given year, which reflect an estimated annual cost of attendance. If you are able to live on less than the maximum financial aid budget during law school, you should do so to minimize the amount of money borrowed.
Scholarships: If you are admitted to our entering class, you are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. You are also eligible to apply for need-based scholarships, the application form for which all admitted students receive upon admission. Scholarships range in value from a few thousand dollars to roughly 90 percent of tuition and fees and have the potential to be renewed. More information about renewal of merit-based scholarships is available here.
Stafford Direct: By completing the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, you are eligible to receive loans through the federal need-based Stafford program. Note that because you will be attending law school, you are not required to list your parents’ income on your FAFSA. Law students are generally eligible to borrow $20,500 per year through the Stafford program.
Graduate PLUS: This is a credit-based federal loan program that requires an application apart from the FAFSA. Most students at Akron Law are able to pay for law school using some combination of scholarships, Stafford loans, and Graduate PLUS loans.
Alternative: If you are unable to borrow what you need through the Stafford and Graduate PLUS programs, Alternative loans are available through private lenders. An Alternative loan requires a separate application, is credit based, and generally carries a higher interest rate than Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans.
You may apply for and receive a combination of these four types of aid up to the budget amount for your situation as shown above. Note that you do not have to “max out” your budget – we encourage you to be frugal and to borrow as little as possible – but loan money is generally available to you within the budgeted amount if you need it. For a more comprehensive guide to various types of loans, please see www.uakron.edu/finaid.
Once you know how much money you will receive from the various aid sources listed above, use the following worksheet to calculate your expected cost of attendance at Akron Law or at any other law school.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Total|
|Tuition and Fees|
|Add: Est. Books/Living Expenses|
|Less: Other Non-Loan Funds|
“Other Non-Loan Funds” may include savings, gifts, or earnings from employment.
To increase the accuracy of your estimate, you may want to consider including an annual tuition/fee increase of 3% to 6%, as well as an annual cost-of-living increase of 1% to 3%. You may also need to add extra columns to the worksheet if you plan to attend law school part-time.
Suggestions to Minimize Borrowing
Other Important Considerations