While the 2008 Great Recession was widely felt in the aspect of the economy, almost all other sectors felt the pinch. As such, it became necessary for everyone to adjust and approach business among other activities differently. Top academic institutions were not left out as student enrollment dwindled as a consequence of the Great Recession. As such, law schools devised new strategies to attract top students to their institutions. Most of the institutions dug deeper into their pockets to lure more students to their schools.
Increased Grants and Scholarship Funding
Between 2011 and 2018 the nation’s law school accrediting body recorded an increase in the number of awarded sponsorships and grants among the Texas law schools. The data collected indicated that instead of the amount per scholarship dropping with the increasing number of awarded scholarships, the amount increased an indication that the schools were pumping more money into the programs. The number of students receiving grants from Texas A&M University School of Law increased from a mere 35 percent in 2011 to a whopping 81 percent in 2018. Universities such as St. Mary’s University School of Law raised it grants from $2,000 to $10,000.
The question perhaps is what led to such philanthropy. The recession birthed a phenomenon that saw fewer students apply to law school. Also, the few applicants had low test scores compared to the years before the recession. The small number of high scoring law school applicants became a coveted lot. As such, it became easier for them to land scholarship opportunities. The result is that law schools began offering larger amounts in grants and more scholarships to attract the high scoring lot.
Discounted Tuition Fees
To attract more students, Universities started giving attractive tuition discounts to law students. Between 2015 and 2016, the discount rate increased from 33 percent to 38 percent. Data collected showed that almost 50 percent of law students benefited from tuition discounts in 2016. Data from the American Bar Association revealed that law students studying in Texas Universities received the highest amount of grants and scholarships.
Increased number of Scholarship and Higher amounts in Grants
Overall, the records show that the percentage increase of students who won scholarship or grants rose by 11 percent between 2011 and 2018. The highest student beneficiaries were those schooling at Texas A&M University School of Law. They enjoyed an increase from 35 percent to 81 percent. While the number of grants winners went up, so did the amount won. In 2011, the median amount won ranged between $2,000 and $22,000. However, by 2018, the amount had increased to $32,000. Also, the average statewide amount of grants went up from $8,900 to $13,200. Data collected showed that St. Mary’s University School of Law gave out the largest rate increase in the median grant amount. Between 2011 and 2018, they increased the amount from $2,000 to $10,000.
While the Great Recession affected every aspect of life negatively, it seems it brought reprieve to law students who now have to pay less for the courses that demanded deeper pockets before the recession.