MORGANTOWN – The West Virginia University College of Law will
begin to offer a tuition break to residents of other states who graduate from
any college or university in West Virginia.
Gregory Bowman, the dean of WVU's College of Law, said he believes
the offer is an important way to keep top students in West Virginia after they
complete other degrees in the state.
Beginning in fall 2017, non-residents who graduate
from a public or private higher education institution in West Virginia will be
eligible for in-state tuition at the WVU College of Law.
said the college already has received several serious admissions inquiries in
response to the tuition break.
“We definitely anticipate increased interest in WVU Law form
the non-resident students who benefit from this program,” Bowman told The West Virginia Record. “We have become a viable option for those students who would otherwise return to their
home state for law school.”
Bowman said WVU Law does not yet have any exact figures on how many additional admission requests could come from the offer. He said information
from the law school admissions council indicates there are currently
about 100 undergraduate non-resident students at West Virginia colleges and
universities who have expressed an interest in attending law school in fall
Overall, Bowman said the application pool is larger if one considers all the non-residents who already have graduated from an institution
of higher learning in the state and are interested in a law degree.
To qualify for the new loyalty tuition program, students
must earn a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited college
or university in the state of West Virginia.
“We are offering non-resident students a more affordable way
to earn a J.D. from a top-rated, best-value law school without leaving West
Virginia,” Bowman said.
Based on current out-of-state tuition at the College of Law,
each student who qualifies for the loyalty tuition program could save more than
$16,000 a year. About 23 percent of this fall’s entering class is from out of
state, the law school said. Tuition for the 2017-2018 school year will be set
by the WVU Board of Governors.
The College of Law offers a wide range of financial support,
and more than 70 percent of its students receive scholarships.
Bowman said he believes WVU Law is the first law school to
offer this specific tuition-savings model.
“There’s a real need to find creative ways to manage student
debt, at both the graduate and undergraduate level,” Bowman said. “We think
this is a viable solution and we are happy to lead the way.
"This is a win-win scenario that’s about creating opportunities. Law students can save a considerable sum of money on tuition
while remaining in a state that they already call home. In return, West
Virginia can retain some of its best and brightest students who have the
potential of playing an important role in the state’s future.”