The ONU Law Promise FAQ
What is the ONU LAW PROMISE?
The ONU Law Promise is about affordable excellence. We believe every student should have the opportunity to get a private legal education at a price that allows for long-term success and minimal debt.
The ONU Law Promise focuses solely on a 20-25 percent tuition reset. For the College of Law, the 2014-15 tuition rate will be $24,800.
How much is the TUITION RESET?
Why is OHIO NORTHERN OFFERING SUCH A PROGRAM?
The current economic downturn has created unprecedented financial challenges for all sectors of higher education, including the private nonprofit sector, leading many to believe that the old ways of operating and managing are inadequate. We believe that the conventional high tuition and high financial aid model embraced for decades by most private colleges and universities is not working today and is no longer sustainable as the economy resets to a new normal. Despite this financial turbulence, ONU Law remains academically strong and focused on exceptional outcomes.
What prompted the TIMING OF THIS IMPORTANT DECISION?
ONU Law is well-positioned to make such a bold move now because it is operating from a position of strength in so many areas. ONU Law consistently attracts well-qualified students and has experienced incredible recent success, including:
- Consistently strong first-time bar passage rates – with 100 percent passing in February 2013
- Second-in-Ohio for JD-required job placement
- 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio – one of the lowest in the nation
- Nationally recognized innovative legal education with the lowest private law school tuition in Ohio
- 45-year track record of providing high-impact, guaranteed clinical placements – almost 20 years before any other law school
Did the current economy influence THE CREATION OF THE ONU LAW PROMISE?
Last year, Ohio Northern University focused on changes that would both sustain academic quality AND make the University more affordable to qualified students and the families that support them. The University conducted a pricing study, held campus-wide forums on financial and enrollment trends, and, last spring semester, met with nearly 200 full-time faculty members in more than a dozen small-group conversations. The changes that ONU believes will work best for Northern, and that are best suited for these times, have emerged from these deliberations and were formulated in recent months. The proposal was presented to members the Ohio Northern University Board of Trustees at their annual meeting in early October. The board devoted much of its meeting time to a thorough discussion of the University’s proposal to change its own financial model and reposition Northern for even greater success in the future. The ONU Law Promise is predicated on the view that the prolonged effects of the 2007-08 economic downturn, also known as the Great Recession, have created dramatic, even fundamental, economic changes that are having an adverse impact on higher education. The forces of impact include the following:
- A steady decline in middle-class wages and wealth
- An increasing sensitivity to price
- A growing concern about debt, fueled by stories of debilitating student debt
- A continued rise in law school tuition levels
- A shrinking population of law school applicants across the nation.
While the economy has changed, much of higher education has not. The proposal also demonstrates that we have listened, thoughtfully considered, and developed a plan that is right for our time and taps into the national and statewide conversation about college costs, completion, student outcomes, and return on investment. In the jargon of the day, our proposal says, “We get it!”
How will CURRENT LAW STUDENTS BENEFIT?
Current law students also will see the same reduction in tuition to $24,800. Although current law students may see a reduction in scholarships and grants, their net tuition (out-of-pocket) charge will remain the same for 2014-15. No student will pay more in 2014-15 than she or he did in 2013-14. Some students – particularly those with no scholarship or with a scholarship less than $8,926 per year – will see a net tuition decrease. Current students will not be charged the 3 percent, or about a $1,000, increase in tuition for 2014-15 that otherwise would have occurred.
Does this mean ONU LAW HAS BEEN OVERCHARGING?
No. ONU Law has always remained one of most competitively priced private legal education in the region. The University is changing its financial model, and there will be no negative impact on the value of an ONU legal education. In addition, Northern will continue to consider family need and ability to pay in financial aid packaging.