IOWA CITY (AP) — Officials are proposing a nearly $8,000 cut in annual nonresident tuition so they can attract more students to the University of Iowa College of Law.
The proposal released Tuesday is aimed at reversing a decline in applicants and class size.
If approved by the Board of Regents in December, the tuition reduction would take effect in fall 2014.
Under the proposal, tuition for nonresidents pursuing law degrees at the school would drop to $39,500 a year from nearly $47,300.
Resident tuition would increase $474, to nearly $26,750 a year.
Law school Dean Gail Agrawal didn't respond to a request to comment.
Law schools around the country have cut tuition in recent years as enrollment has declined in the face of a declining demand for attorneys and concerns by students about costs.
Under the UI law school's plan, the assumption is that the tuition drop would prompt a rise in out-of-state applicants, which could offset a decline in Iowa residents who are applying for admission.
For example, the 173 Iowans who applied to the law school in 2012 was down from 287 applicants in 2010.
This fall, the law school had an enrollment of 432 students, compared with 635 students five years ago.
Students said they weren't surprised by the effort to increase enrollment by reducing costs.
"Nationwide, the number of law students has dropped off the map," said Nick De La Cruz, a second-year law student from Davenport, Iowa.
Second-year student Lisa Castillo, of Seattle, said she's interested in a career in public service, which could mean a lower paying job when she graduates. Lower tuition could make a big difference to other students with such goals, she said.
"Paying back debt is a big concern," Castillo said.
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