Grantee Research

Dollars and Sense: Student Price Sensitivity to Law School Tuition

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



tuition, price sensitivity, law school enrollment, law school applicants, human capital investment theory, law school rankings, law school selectivity, predictive models


Law school tuition prices have been on a steady upward trajectory over the past decade, leading to declining affordability. Using institution-level data on 194 law schools from 2006 to 2015, this study investigates whether students are price sensitive to increasing costs. Incorporating two-way fixed effects models, results suggest that higher tuition and fee prices are not associated with fewer applications to law school. However, higher estimated net costs of attendance are associated with greater numbers of first-year enrollments, particularly among private schools. When stratified by tiers on the basis of selectivity, this positive relationship exists among law schools in the third and fourth tiers, yet no association between net costs and enrollments are observed among law schools in the first, second, and fifth tiers.