Three Solutions to Help Manage Declining Applications for Law Schools

The number of students applying to law schools in the U.S. decreased 38% between 2010 and 2015. With greater competition for fewer students, law schools across the country took measures to gain any competitive edge they could in a tenuous market, with some ballooning their discount rates, waving LSAT requirements, and even cutting faculty and staff in order to keep costs down.

Although many were relieved to see the slight uptick in application numbers in fall 2016, some legal experts believe the law school market has settled into a “new normal”. Many law school leaders we have spoken to are looking to decrease their financial spending, but worry that decreasing awards and lowering discount rates will put them at a disadvantage if their competitors do not do the same.

Maguire Associates offers several solutions to help law school leaders determine what competitor institutions are offering for aid, why students are making the choices they make, and what level of discounting is the right level for your institution.

Admitted Student Research
Surveying enrolling and non-enrolling admitted students provides valuable information on why they made the choices they did and what kind of financial aid offers they received from your competitors.

Yield Forecasting and Financial Aid Leveraging
Sophisticated, multivariate predictive models of yield can help you understand which characteristics predict enrollment at your institution and exactly what role financial aid dollars play in the decision. These models can be used to simulate changes to financial aid packages in order to determine how to use your scholarship dollars most effectively and efficiently. We have helped several law schools improve their yield and decrease their discount rates by making small but strategic changes in the way they award aid.

Predictive Model of Bar Pass Likelihood
Using the same sophisticated methodology described above, we can create predictive models of Bar pass likelihood that accurately predict Bar passage 80% of the time using first-year variables only. These models are far more accurate than relying on GPA and LSAT alone and can help identify those most at risk of failing so that measures can be taken to intervene. These models typically include demographic variables, admission criteria, grades in specific courses taken in the first year, and any other data a school may be collecting on students.

The consultants at Maguire Associates work very closely with their partners and can help the most seasoned admissions professional as well as those who may be new to using statistical modeling in the admissions process.

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