The Best Law Schools for Less Than $18K a Year

best-law-schools-less-than-18K

If getting a law degree is appealing to you, but the annual tuition rates are frightening, there’s some good news. Not all law schools are wildly expensive.

Yes, you can pay more than $60,000 a year for at least one of the more elite schools, but there are plenty of well-regarded schools out there that cost far, far less. In fact, we put together a list of some of the best law schools in the country that actually cost less than $18,000 a year for tuition.

To come up with our list, we looked at U.S. News’ rankings of 196 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association. We ranked the schools according to price per year only for in-state tuition (except for Brigham Young University, which distinguishes between Church of Latter Day Saints affiliation instead of state residency for tuition purposes). For schools that provided a per-hour price instead of an annual tuition rate, we calculated 24 semester hours per year (full-time) multiplied by the per-hour rate.

Even at these prices, getting a law degree can start pushing six figures, meaning a lot of students are going to wind up with student loan debt unless their employer is going to help with tuition costs. Even then, there’s still that education debt from undergraduate degrees that could be lingering. That can create a lot of pressure to find a lucrative job, because that pricey law degree probably won’t seem as valuable if you can’t afford your student loans, fall behind on payments and damage your credit.

Keep in mind, there are income-driven repayment plans that federal student loan borrowers can often use to help make loan payments more manageable. (You can see how your student loans may be affecting your credit score by viewing your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.)

Here’s our list of the best law schools in the U.S. with tuitions of less than $18,000 a year.

Georgia State University

U.S. News Rank: 57 (3-way tie)
Tuition: $16,858 per year (in-state, full-time); $36,466 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Nebraska — Lincoln

U.S. News Rank: 57 (3-way tie)
Tuition: $14,721 per year (in-state, full-time); $33,415 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of New Mexico

U.S. News Rank: 60 (5-way tie)
Tuition: $16,490 per year (in-state, full-time); $35,183 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Arkansas — Fayetteville

U.S. News Rank: 86 (6-way tie)
Tuition: $15,224 per year (in-state, full-time); $31,443 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Mississippi

U.S. News Rank: 106 (5-way tie)
Tuition: $15,036 per year (in-state, full-time); $32,374 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Idaho

U.S. News Rank: 111 (12-way tie)
Tuition: $17,230 per year (in-state, full-time); $31,234 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Montana

U.S. News Rank: 123 (6-way tie)
Tuition: $11,393 per year (in-state, full-time); $30,078 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Wyoming

U.S. News Rank: 123 (6-way tie)
Tuition: $14,911 per year (in-state, full-time); $31,241 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

CUNY (City University of New York)

U.S. News Rank: 131
Tuition: $14,663 per year (in-state, full-time); $23,983 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of Arkansas — Little Rock

U.S. News Rank: 136 (4-way tie)
Tuition: $14,447 per year (in-state, full-time); $29,223 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of South Dakota

U.S. News Rank: 143
Tuition: $14,688 per year (in-state, full-time); $31,747 per year (out-of-state, full-time)

University of North Dakota

U.S. News Rank: 144 (6-way tie)
Tuition: $11,161 per year (in-state, full-time); $24,836per year (out-of-state, full-time)

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