NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Opting For The Law Over Business Schools

July 5, 2000

Educators are at a loss to explain why applications to law schools are rising, while those to business schools are dropping dramatically.

  • Applications to business schools dropped 24 percent at the University of Chicago last spring, 23 percent at Cornell and 18 percent at Stanford.
  • Top business schools which at one time were able to admit only 10 percent of applicants are now relaxing their requirement for work experience and stepping up their overseas recruiting efforts.
  • Nationwide, about 77,000 people submitted applications to begin law school this fall -- up about three percent from the previous year.
  • That was the second consecutive increase in law school applications -- reversing the trend from 1991 through 1998, which saw law schools applications decline 30 percent.

Graduate programs of almost all types -- from the humanities to the physical sciences -- have received slightly fewer applications over the past five years than in the past. That may reflect the fact that the number of people in their late 20s has decreased and the strong economy has given them many new alternatives.

Source: David Leonhardt, "Battle of the Graduate Schools," New York Times, July 5, 2000.


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