Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sadness: By 2013, A Majority of Law Students Project to Have At Least 120k of Loans

So here's the bad news: According to Visualize Law's projections, by 2013 a majority of law students will have over 120k of debt by graduation. The increase will, of course, reflect the increase in tuition, which will happen everywhere, including here. Of course this is nothing new - many people at UVA are carrying far more debt than that already.

In case you were wondering the total out of state cost of attendance is currently set at $63,000/year - and you better believe it's going to go up next year. There are certainly a number of people paying this full amount (204 first-year students out of approximately 375 received some kind scholarship; the rest received none at all), and a good number of them (it stands to reason) are financing their tuition entirely with debt. $63,000 * 3 (years) = $189,000. And that doesn't take into account interest, of which there will be plenty, and the increase(s) in tuition, which might be staggering.

The good news is that there income-based repayment, and improvements to LRAP are supposedly on the horizon. Plus, Sallie Mae can't take your legal knowledge away from you.

So here's a question for our readers: Assuming starting salaries and job prospects remain the same, how much debt is too much to attend a (IMHO great) place like UVA?

Related:
Law School Debt Exceeding $120k [Visualize Law]

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

A UVA law education is priceless

SwampPoodle said...

After three years of law school, and seeing horrific charts like this one, I have begun to realize I signed up for a pyramid scheme. But instead of ending up with a toaster that cost me $130, I'll end up with a piece of paper that cost me $180K. Maybe I should have become a professional wrestler after all.

Oh well, at least I enjoyed the softball.

Anonymous said...

I won't say that paying sticker for UVA Law was the worst mistake of my life, but it ranks up there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anybody would come here if they didn't have some financial aid. The difference in earning potential between a T14 grad and a T30 grad does not add up to $120K NPV (assuming you can get some financial aid offers at a school like GW if you can get in here).

uva3lotdlofwngsl said...

this is a great place to be if you want to creep on preppy closeted doods

Anonymous said...

9:01-That's not always a valid assumption. I was admitted to UVA, GULC, GW and Vandy...and got no financial aid at any. I was offered a full ride to my home-state university (a Southern TTT) and 2/3 of everything at Tulane.

What value did UVA add that I couldn't have gotten from my home-state school? I'm above the median and jobless, so I really have no idea. Could the difference in instruction quality really be so vast?

Anonymous said...

What value did UVA add that I couldn't have gotten from my home-state school? I'm above the median and jobless, so I really have no idea. Could the difference in instruction quality really be so vast?

Sorry for your situation, especially since (obviously) a year and a half ago (or 2.5 years ago) when you started here, the difference would have been quite pronounced.

Perhaps, for us, the difference will be in potential employment opportunities down the line -- clerkships and future firm positions that wouldn't otherwise be (as) available to you without a UVA degree or UVA connections, for example. And academia as at least a plausible option, although I understand that's not a common goal.

Ultimately, and maybe this is crazy to say, I don't think valuing education in a direct cost-benefit analysis is totally fruitful. I believe I saw a study recently that said law school in general (even before the crash) isn't really a great investment when you consider the earning potential a college grad already has and the years of salary and advancement given up. But if you really WANT to be a lawyer... that's what you have to do.

Now as for $40K a year vs. free (though I'm guessing based on a contingent scholarship, which is often difficult to maintain), well, that's another story. But without a crystal ball -- both to foresee the crash, and to see what the next five to ten years will hold -- it's hard to really second-guess.

Anonymous said...

1L's who enrolled ITE deserve to be raped to the tune of $120k in tuition.

Anonymous said...

A "UVA degree or UVA connections" are not going to help someone with average grades an academic job.

This law school is a gigantic fraud. The only people who benefit are the ones who get good grades early on and are then the beneficiaries of subsequent favoritism 2L and 3L year.

Anonymous said...

7:35, I think it also helps the people who came to school specifically to get a public interest job, who don't care about a high standard of living if they're doing the work they actually want to do, and whose loans will be repaid for them in 10 years.

Anonymous said...

anyone would be a fool to come here taking out a full load of loans.

Anonymous said...

@6:05,

But what if you just know that you're going to work really hard and so you'll make really good grades and you'll be able to make law review and get a great job. Then is it okay?

Anonymous said...

well, 9:31. I think many more people come here with the intention of working hard and making law review than actually do.

Anonymous said...

I'm an alum from the years when everyone got a firm job if they wanted it, the issue isn't UVA, it is the current economy and the job situation. We have a glut of baby boomers who aren't retiring and aren't training the younger people who should be working and paying for the boomers' retirement, and we have a tone deaf political administration on this matter.

Just keep your head up, we'll get out of it eventually, but it isn't as if "NOT" having a law degree from UVA will help in this market. It is bad everywhere and in every industry. I have friends from undergrad that are engineers and they are suffering just as much, if not more.

Rule 12 (f) said...

"but it isn't as if "NOT" having a law degree from UVA will help in this market. It is bad everywhere and in every industry. I have friends from undergrad that are engineers and they are suffering just as much, if not more."

With all due respect, do your friends who are engineers have to take on 180,000 dollars of debt at >6.8% interest?

Anonymous said...

"With all due respect, do your friends who are engineers have to take on 180,000 dollars of debt at >6.8% interest?"

That is correct, I'm not going to argue against it. My friends don't have the debt obligations that many law graduates will have. But again, this isn't just UVA, I know folks from higher ranked schools that are in the same situation. These aren't good times, but eventually we'll get out of it.

The Prophet said...

ALL YE WHO ENTER UVA LAW, SURRENDER ALL HOPE AND DESPAIR!!!!

Anonymous said...

tuitions have to start coming down

Anonymous said...

You think professors come for the prestige? UVa will charge what the market will bear and there seems to be no sign of slowing.

Anonymous said...

I strongly encourage UVa to greatly increase tuition for the 2010-11 school year as an effort to slow the irresponsible rise in law school applicants.

I also strongly encourage UVa to devote the extra revenue to loan repayment programs for alumni.

-3L who enrolled before the economy collapsed when everyone got jobs