Robert Rasmussen, dean of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, said students have become increasingly "price sensitive," and are pushing back on tuition figures and scholarship offers. "Students are much more willing to raise this issue than they ever have been in the past."It's a buyer's market: Don't behave as if you don't know it. Meanwhile, the sellers, the law schools, fret about the flow of information via U.S. News & World Report, which has the audacity to rank the law schools, partly based on GPA and LSAT, creating great power in the buyers of law school education who bring good statistics.
Enterprising or cash-strapped students have long negotiated with schools over the price of admission. But more than ever, schools are listening. For instance, the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law earlier this year sent letters to admitted students encouraging them to bargain. "We very much hope you find this offer competitive with others you have received," read one letter, dated March 2012 and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. "Please let us know."
Applicants with high GPAs and LSATs are like the beautiful women who are served free drinks in bars, helping the bars draw more paying customers. So if you are one of the beautiful women, better get your drinks free. And if you're getting your drinks free and you're not that beautiful, maybe you wonder why you're patronizing that bar.
But there's no U.S. News & World Report ranking the bars according to beautiful people, not with specifically knowable statistics. If there were, and if everyone started marketing their beauty value to the best-ranked bar that would give them free drinks, there'd be a bar bubble, and it would have to pop.
Of course, there is a law school bubble. It looks like this:
From: The Best Colleges
At least that's how it looked a year ago, when the champagne was much more bubbly.