Law school loan default rates low, with median below 2%

While a number of law school grads knock their decision to go to law school — saying the return on the investment was not what they expected — at least they didn’t go to a barber school.

Champ’s Barber School in Lancaster, Pa., led the nation when it came to student loan defaults, at 53.4%, in fiscal year 2016.

Arguably, law schools look positively rosy compared to that. Indeed, the law school with the highest default rate for the same year was Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, a school that is not accredited by the American Bar Association, at 5.5%.

Coming in second was Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., at 4.80%.

The numbers come from a national survey of default rates by LendEDU, a website that helps consumers learn about and compare financial products. It broke down data provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The full report can been seen here. 

It’s hard to judge the overall picture when it comes to law schools, though. The default rate of law schools affiliated with universities is not known because those figures are lumped in with the parent university’s overall default rate.

Data is only available for freestanding law schools.

In the past, some have criticized the nation’s affiliated law schools for not being more transparent when it comes to their default rates. They make up the majority of law schools, after all. There’s no way of knowing where they stand, it’s argued.

Nationally, the default rate was 10.10% for all schools, including barber schools, which fared among the worst. Eight were among the 10 schools having the highest rates of defaults.

Historically black colleges performed more poorly than average, with a default rate of 15.66 percent.

Nevada scored the poorest among all states, with a rate of 18.16%.

Here’s the list of law schools:

 

Massachusetts School Of Law At Andover

Massachusetts

Private, Non Profit*

5.50%

Mitchell Hamline School Of Law

Minnesota

Private, Non Profit

4.80%

Vermont Law School

Vermont

Private, Non Profit

3.70%

San Joaquin College Of Law

California

Private, Non Profit*

3.40%

Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Michigan

Private, Non Profit

3.40%

Thomas Jefferson School Of Law

California

Private, Non Profit

3.10%

New England Law | Boston

Massachusetts

Private, Non Profit

2.20%

New York Law School

New York

Private, Non Profit

2.10%

Charleston School Of Law

South Carolina

Proprietary

1.80%

CUNY School Of Law

New York

Public

1.70%

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

Georgia

Proprietary

1.60%

Florida Coastal School Of Law

Florida

Proprietary

1.40%

John Marshall Law School

Illinois

Private, Non Profit

1.40%

Appalachian School Of Law

Virginia

Private, Non Profit

1.30%

Albany Law School Of Union University

New York

Private, Non Profit

1.20%

Southwestern Law School

California

Private, Non Profit

1.10%

UC Hastings

California

Public

1.00%

Brooklyn Law School

New York

Private, Non Profit

1.00%

South Texas College Of Law Houston

Texas

Private, Non Profit

1.00%

Ave Maria School Of Law

Florida

Private, Non Profit

0.80%

Michigan State University College Of Law

Michigan

Private, Non Profit

0.70%

California Western School Of Law

California

Private, Non Profit

0.70%

 * Not ABA accredited 

     

 

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