Law School Prices and the Enrollment of Students from Different Racial Backgrounds
law school diversity, race, price sensitivity, education markets, human capital investment theory, tuition
Law schools in the United States have steadily increased their tuition and fee prices across the last decade, requiring more students to take out loans, which may disproportionally reduce access for students of color, who are underrepresented at law schools. Framed using human capital theory and student price sensitivity, this study incorporates institution-level data on 194 public and private law schools from 2006 to 2015 to explore whether enrollments of students from different racial groups change in response to tuition prices and estimated net costs of attendance. Results from two-way fixed effects models suggest that first-year enrollments of Black and Hispanic students do not change in response to increases in tuition or net costs. However, a greater number of Asian American and White students enroll when tuition prices are higher and among private law schools, a greater number of Asian American and White students enroll when net costs are higher.