Maine law school drops $50 application fee to reverse slipping enrollment

Posted Jan. 08, 2015, at 6:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 09, 2015, at 5:11 p.m.
An earlier version of this story reported that the law school will hold an information session for prospective students at 9 a.m. Jan. 26. It is Jan. 16.

PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Maine School of Law will waive the $50 application fee for students applying for the fall of 2015 in an effort to slow down declining enrollment.

“The pool of applicants to law schools has decreased nationally,” Caroline Wilshusen, director of admissions for the Maine school of law, said Thursday. “Something as simple as an application fee can stop a person from applying.”

Maine is among 74 law schools that have dropped application fees for 2015, according to the Law School Admission Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Last year, 57 law schools waived their fees.

Enrollment in the fall of 2014 at law schools around the country fell 4.4 percent from 2013, according to the American Bar Association. Enrollment has declined more than 27 percent since 2010.

Enrollment at Maine law school has fallen from 96 students enrolled in the fall of 2010 to 81 students this academic year.

“People of all different backgrounds come to Maine Law because they see the unique value of a law degree as a foundation for a career in law, government, business, public service and other fields,” Wilshusen said in a news release issued Wednesday.

She also said that law school tuition rates in Maine have been frozen since 2012 and the school has boosted fundraising to offer more scholarships than in the past. Tuition for Maine residents is $22,290 and $33,360 for nonresidents, according to the law school’s website.

“A legal education remains an excellent investment, but affordability is a huge consideration,” Wilshusen said in the press release. “We need to do everything we can to reduce student debt and open the doors for the next generation of lawyers and leaders.”

The law school will hold an information session for prospective students at 9 a.m. Jan. 16. To register, visit mainelaw.maine.edu, call Heidi Gage at 780-4341 or email heidi.gage@maine.edu.

 

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