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Board of Regents meets discussing law school tuition.
Board of Regents meets discussing law school tuition.

UNLV Boyd Law School’s dean proposes no increase in tuition for the next biennium

By Ariana DeCastro
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UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law dean proposed holding tuition for the next biennium to the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents at the Nevada State College on March 4.

Dean Daniel W. Hamilton proposed that the in-state tuition remain at $25,900 for the 2018 to 2019 school years while the nonresident tuition remains at $37,800.

“We are requesting a no fee increase in the law school to keep the law school accessible and affordable,” Hamilton told the regents.

Boyd Law School previously got support from the regents for a 4 percent increase for the 2016 and 2017 school years, which is approximately a $1,000 increase.

There was also a significant increase in 2009 and 2010 and with the current 4 percent increase, the dean would like the tuition to remain the same for the next biennium.

“We want student debt to be low,” said Hamilton.

Regent Trevor Hayes, who is an attorney, supported the law school’s proposal of not increasing tuition after he expressed his thoughts on the matter.

“I don’t think it’s fair that we recruit a student to a program and increase that existing student’s tuition,” said Hayes.

He believes that for incoming students, it is appropriate to apply the tuition increase, but not for those who chose UNLV with the tuition cost as a factor in their decision.

“If some student decided to come to our medical school, our law school or our dental school, and weighed all the options and looked at potential scholarships from other schools and then we suddenly pull the carpet out from under them and say, “Welcome, now your prices are going up,” and one of their deciding factors could have been the price and they thought this was the best deal, I don’t think it’s fair,” said Hayes.

Hayes suggested locking the tuition price that a student begins with for four years. This would also incentivize them to graduate on time.

“You should get four years of the price you signed up for,” said Hayes.

Hayes stated that while the increases are not out of line, he wants all the schools to realize that these increases are particularly affecting those who have in-state tuitions.

“We’re doing it to our own people,” said Hayes. “I think that any tuition increase we do should only be implemented for students starting after that point.”

Eighty-four percent of law students who currently attend UNLV’s School of Law are from Nevada and upon graduating, most of those students stay in state, according to Hamilton.

“Eighty-percent stay in Nevada,” said Hamilton. “So we want to keep it as manageable as possible. We do not want to be out of reach for Nevadans.”

While the increase or the hold in tuition fees are determined by different factors, scholarships are always available. According to Hamilton, there are plenty of scholarships available for law students.

“We must be and must remain competitive when it comes to scholarships,” said Hamilton.

With competition in mind, the current 4 percent increase was also necessary to help make sure that the law program at UNLV remains competitive with its peer institutions, according to Hamilton.

“We are in line with Utah, Arizona State, Colorado and we are still very competitive with the California schools,” said Hamilton.

In addition, the opening of UNLV’s medical school is also helping the law school become more progressive as it establishes its new health law program.

“We are already working with the medical school,” said Hamilton. “Its opening is good for the law school.”

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