Thursday, April 18, 2013

Decline in law school applications causes university-wide budget cuts

Law schools are often considered cash-cows for their respective universities and that's proving true in this particular case but for all the wrong reasons.  A leading university has just announced it will implement a 20% across the board cut in operational expenses due to the decline in applications at its law school.  From the Catholic University student newspaper:

Law School Enrollment Dropoff Causes Departmental Budget Cuts

Catholic University will cut operational expenditures by 20 percent under a proposal by the Provost, a move that is the result of a decline in revenue from law school enrollment.

Earlier this year, the Provost asked deans from the University to trim down their operational expenditures for the next fiscal year by 20 percent.  This decision has come following a decline in revenue from decreasing law school enrollment – a challenge that is being experienced by universities nationwide.

. . . .

With the increasing cost of law school in the United States, universities across the nation have experienced a decline in law school enrollment.  For many universities, including CUA, this decline means a significant decrease in revenues that the university as a whole depends on year-to-year.

“We are led to understand this is because of plummeting enrollment in the law school,” shared McKenna.

Between 140 and 200 new law students enroll each year and pay between $33,600 and $44,000 annually.

“The decline in law school enrollments is a nationwide problem that has had budget consequences at a very large number of universities.  CUA, in my view, is handling the budget challenges quite skillfully,” suggested Henderson.

Long-term, Suarez sees this as an “adjustment period” where the University has to find revenue sources that differ from what it is used to having available.

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Continue reading here.


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