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Kaplan Survey: Law School Graduates More Likely Than Prospective 1L’s to Want to Slash Law Schools’ Spending to Lower Tuition

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Some law school graduates want to use a machete when it comes to law schools’ spending practices in order to keep tuition in check, while many pre-law students prefer a more delicate approach, according to two separate Kaplan surveys*. Here’s how the two groups would approach the vexing issue that has long-term implications for all involved:

  • Reduce Law School to Two Years: A healthy majority (56%) of law school graduates want to see law school condensed from three years to two years; 34% of prospective 1L’s think this is a good idea too.
  • Online Classes: 39% of law school grads think that delivering legal education through an online format is a good way to lower tuition, as this would likely cut back on money law schools spend on real estate. Only 13% of pre-laws students favor this approach. Currently, the American Bar Association only allows accredited law schools to offer up to 15 credit hours via distance learning; this was upped from just 12 hours last year.
  • “Flat” tuition: 29% of law school graduates would like to see all merit-based scholarships eliminated and instead use that money to lower tuition for everyone. Only 17% of pre-laws favor this approach.
  • Enrolling More Students: 14% of recent law school graduates say they’d favor admitting more students to pump up revenue, compared to nearly twice as many pre-law students (27%) who favor this method.
  • Lower professor salaries: Law instructors may not like this one. Over a quarter (27%) of law school graduates want to cut professors’ salaries; just 7% of pre-law students approve of this tactic.

“Having been through the grinder for the past three years, it’s not too surprising that law school graduates want to see the law school experience reduced from three years to two years,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “The reality is that while some schools have accelerated programs, students still have to take the same number of credit hours, per American Bar Association rules. Shorter yes, but more intense too. The same applies to online or distance learning — what law schools can do in this area is strictly regulated by the American Bar Association. While change is coming in both areas, straying from the ways things have been normally done in legal education is generally slow going.”

According to American Bar Association data, in the most recently recorded year of 2013 average tuition at a public law school was $23,879 per year for in-state residents and $36,859 per year for non-state residents. The average tuition at private law schools was considerably more, at $41,984 per year.

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s survey, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

*293 law school graduates who took a bar review course with Kaplan participated in this February 2015 e-survey; 819 pre-law students who took an LSAT course with Kaplan participated in this September 2014 e-survey.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC)

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