ABA Transfer, Tuition,
and "Other Costs" Data

In one tiny little corner of the page, the ABA-LSAC Official Guide gives you three very interesting numbers: transfers in and out, resident and nonresident tuition, and costs of living. Each deserves your attention.

ABA Transfer and Tuition Data

A lot of people transferred out of this school; but then, a fairly large number transferred in, too. it's not a public school. How do I know? The resident and nonresident tuition are the same.

Could it be a top private school? I doubt it; the tuition's too low, and too many people are leaving. What about a midwestern or southern school? Nope; the cost of living is way too high. And too many people are transferring in, so it isn't a lower-tier school.

If I were showing off, I'd bet Santa Clara or Miami: private, with a part-time program, high cost of living, low enough ranking that people want to leave and high enough that people want to enter.


This school presents a completely different pattern; many more leave than stay. Costs are still low for a private school, and cost of living is very low. I could guess any of a half-dozen schools in the south and midwest that people enter hoping not to stay: Creighton, Drake and Washburn, South Texas and Texas Wesleyan, St. Mary's and Loyola New Orleans.

I wouldn't guess anywhere in the north; the cost of living is too low for anyplace where it snows.

What do you need to know? With 36 people successfully transferring and perhaps twice as many trying to do so, you may need very competitive grades to be get lucky.

ABA Transfer and Tuition Data


ABA Transfer and Tuition Data

This school has hardly anyone transfer out, and everyone transferring in. And no wonder -- look at that resident tuition break!

The super-low resident tuition eliminates the "public privates" -- North Carolina, Michigan, Berkeley, Texas, etc. -- and the moderate cost of living argues against an urban locale. I must admit I was stumped -- Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Iowa just don't do that much transfer business.

The answer? Florida State. I had no idea that Florida subsidizes resident tuition so heavily. And U. of Florida does very little transfer business. Perhaps they save the "Top Gun" for the elites, but let lesser residents into FSU to recognize their state loyalty -- or tuition concerns.

Notice I've mostly avoided talking about the third number in the set, Living Expenses. That's because it's undefined. Does it include rent for nine months, ten, or twelve? Does it include car payments, or assume you'll ride the bus? Is the book budget bare bones, or does it allow for outlines and study aids? I've made attempts to standardize this number, but to no avail. I tried again in the fall of 2010, but most admissions officers said, "I don't know; if you find out, please tell me."

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