Tuition: For in-state residents attending this school on a full-time basis, tuition came out to $24,368 for the 2009-2010 academic year. For non-residents, tuition amounted to $32,364 for the same academic year.
Total Cost of Attendance: According to this same page, the school estimates that nine-months of living expenses, books/supplies, estimated fees will add another $17,684 to the price tag for a year of “legal education” at this pre$TTigiou$ law school. This would bring the total COA, for a Pennsylvania resident, to $42,052 – for one damn year of law school. For out-of-state students attending PiTT, the total COA came out to $50,048. After all, who doesn’t have $50K socked away for such an endeavor?
Accurate Total COA: Seeing that actual law students will have to pay rent for twelve months – and not nine months – we will provide a more accurate figure. It also seems that landlords prefer to be paid each month out of the year. The school estimates that living expenses for nine months will come out to $15,054 – or $1672.66 per month. This would mean that living expenses, for an entire year, would amount to $20,072. This would bring the total COA for an out-of-state student at PiTT, to $55,066. For in-state students, this would “only” amount to $47,070.
Ranking: Look – PiTT is ranked as the 67th most amazing, mesmerizing, incredible, breathtaking law school in the United States – according to US News & World Report. Wow! What a steal, right?! I mean, who wouldn’t want to pay $24,368 – or $32,364 – for one year’s tuition?! It even happens to be the third cheapest of the 67th place law schools – among the five commodes tied for this honor.
Employment and Starting Salary Figures: Apparently, the school does not provide a breakdown of job placement or salary figures, for its graduates. Who knows? Maybe PiTT JDs earn so much money upon graduation, that the school is too embarrassed to publish these numbers.
Instead, the school provides a sampling of where its grads end up. They conveniently left out the following jobs/firms: “security associate” at Toxic Bar & Grill; “identification reviewer/process server” with Club Zoo; “cocktail counsel” for Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club; and “cleanup associate” at Wal-Mart.
Well, at least the school is nice enough to list links to Recruiting Events, Interviewing Tips, Job Fairs, “Networking” workshops, access to Simplicity, and info on “How to Look for a Job”. I guess you can only expect so much information for the low price of $24,368 – or $32,364 – per year in tuition.
Hey, if you can manage to get into this pre$TTigiou$ school, you might even have a chance to write onto the Univer$iTTy of PiTT$burgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy. What employer wouldn’t want to hire such a heavyweight of the legal industry, huh?! Surely, placement on this journal will give you the advantage over T14 grads in the region, right?!
Conclusion: This school is overpriced, and it happens to be located in the over-saturated Pennsylvania legal job market. An in-state student at this public law school could EASILY end up $140K in debt! Those unfortunate souls who decide to attend this school as non-residents, could end up with an additional $165K in non-dischargeable student debt.
Biglaw cares about pedigree of law degree, and class rank. If you are taking on six-figure debt for this credential, you will need to make a Biglaw salary in order to make a positive return on your investment. [Third Tier Reality Check: Attending and graduating from PiTT will NOT provide you with much chance of earning Biglaw money.] FinAid’s advice on the appropriate amount of total student debt to take out:
“A good rule of thumb is that your total education debt SHOULD BE LESS THAN your expected starting salary. If you borrow more than twice your expected starting salary you will find it extremely difficult to repay the debt.” [Emphasis mine]
For you delusional pre-law lemmings out there, Mark Kantrowitz is the publisher and founder of this organization. Surely, he understands finance and education debt better than you. He does have a degree in mathematics from MIT, after all. (In fact, he appears to be a cheerleader for the higher education industry, and FinAid still recommends that you take out no more – in total student debt – than your expected first year starting salary.) Or, if you prefer, you can tell yourself that you are special and will be the exception to the rule – in which case, I will look forward to reading your law school scam-blog in a few years.