A second Ohio law school is significantly lowering its out-of-state tuition in hopes of attracting students.
Trustees at the University of Cincinnati on June 25 approved cutting nonresident tuition at its College of Law by 30 percent, bringing it closer to the price Ohio residents pay. In-state tuition will remain the same.
"Our view has been that we're a great value proposition for students," dean Louis Bilionis said. "We're small. We're not looking to grow. But we thought tuition and expenses for out-of-state students had become out of equilibrium with the market. The world is telling us that tuition has gotten too high."
The old out-of-state rate was $40,044. As of next year, Cincinnati's out-of-state tuition and fees will be $28,536 — $5,000 more than the $23,536 Ohio residents will pay. The law school has more autonomy to adjust nonresident tuition than it does for resident rates, Bilionis said.
In February, the University of Akron School of Law announced that it would effectively drop out-of-state tuition and offer the resident rate to all students. Akron also froze tuition for next year's incoming class, meaning students will pay the same rate for all three years. In April, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of the Law secured an 11 percent tuition cut for Arizona residents and an 8 percent reduction for nonresidents.
Like many other law schools around the country, Cincinnati faces a difficult recruiting climate. A report prepared by Bilionis for the trustees found that the number of new students enrolling at Ohio law schools has dropped by 28 percent since 2008.
Prospective students from outside Ohio may be turned off by a high listed tuition price, not realizing that few students actually pay that amount because they secure scholarships and other assistance, he said.
Bilionis did not know what the reduction would mean for the law school's finances. Nearly 70 percent of its students live in Ohio and many of the rest live within the "graduate metropolitan area" that includes portions of northern Kentucky and entitles them to lower tuition rates. (Residents in some parts of Indiana can also qualify for in-state tuition.) Moreover, law students who move from out of state may qualify for in-state tuition after one year.
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