Law School Tuition Slashed At The University Of Iowa

The Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.
The Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.

Law school is on sale in the state of Iowa.

The University of Iowa College of Law is lowering its tuition price by 16.4 percent to both residents and nonresidents of the state, starting fall 2014. That translates to a $4,300 discount for Iowa residents and nearly $8,000 less people from out of state will have to spend each year.

The decision was made this week by the Iowa Board of Regents, which also froze tuition for undergraduates for the second year in a row. It's the first time for a two year consecutive tuition freeze at Iowa public colleges since 1975, the Des Moines Register reports.

Iowa's law school is well-respected, especially within the state. It ranks No. 26 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. University officials originally only requested a tuition cut for nonresidents, but the regents insisted Iowans gets the discount too, according to the Press-Citizen.

Tuition price cuts are not unheard of, but they are usually restricted to private colleges.

Iowa is reacting to a drop in applicants in recent years. Law school enrollment dropped by a third from 2010 to 2013 nationally. Iowa's law school saw a 24 percent decrease during the same period.

The tuition change will cost the school around $300,000. Officials estimate they need close to 20 additional students to cover the difference.

"We want to take a leading role in the evolving face of legal education and ensure our place as a best value proposition among the top public law schools," Law Dean Gail Agrawal said in a statement.

According to the university, 94 percent of their graduates find employment in the legal field within 9 months of graduation, but the class of 2012 also carried an average debt of $95,574.

Iowa State University has also launched a "3+3 program" that allows students to get their Juris Doctor in just six years. Students study at ISU for three years before joining the more expensive three year law programs at UI or Drake University, a private school in Des Moines.

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