March 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE:

The Law School Admission Council confirmed on Wednesday that, with about 90 percent of applications for next year received, the number of applicants is down 11 percent from the same time last year. That’s the lowest it has been at this point since 2001.

Experts attribute the decline to the rising cost of law school and the diminished job prospects for graduates—factors that have resulted in a flurry of news articles and blog entries questioning the value of a law degree. In addition, with the economy slowly improving, some students who might have headed to law school to delay entering the work force are feeling more optimistic about getting jobs today, admissions officials say.

The University of Kansas School of Law, for instance, extended its deadline by one month, to April 15, but it still expects applications to be down 15 percent to 20 percent from last year.

Ultimately, the payoff has to justify the investment.