Over at the Faculty Lounge there has been a great deal of debate over a new article by Law School Transparency proposing alternative models for legal education, and some debate over the professorial response to that article. The best action though has been in the comments, with Steve Diamond, a professor at Santa Clara, debating with some anonymous commenters. Diamond has not been winning the blow-by-blow, and his last comment had to venture into making up facts out of the air:
At SCU we have already committed, and have been committed for several decades, to all of the things you suggest - lower salaries, more teaching, more administrative work by faculty and lower tuition than is the norm at schools like Stanford. [...]
We constantly debate those choices and try to find the right balance - which has included in the last few years decisions to freeze salaries, not raise tuition and increase administrative work for faculty.
Stanford tuition in 2012-13: $48,870
Santa Clara tuition in 2012-13: $43,680
Okay, so Santa Clara does have the lower nominal tuition, and by more than $5,000, though it's certainly silly to say that $43,000 a year for law school is low. But that's just the nominal tuition. At Stanford, 61.6% of students receive some scholarship, 33.1% receive scholarships of half or more, and 2% receive full or greater scholarship packages. The median award at Stanford is $26,027.
Santa Clara, as you might imagine, is much stingier when it comes to scholarships. 46% receive some scholarship, but only 3.3% receive an award of half tuition or greater, and 2.1% receive an award of full tuition or greater. The median award at Santa Clara is $10,000.
Stanford beats Santa Clara in the half-to-full scholarship range by nearly 30 percentage points. Let's do some back of the envelope math here...
$48,870 / 2 = $24,435 ...That's the lowest amount a half-or-more award can be.
$24,435 x 0.3 = $7,331 ...That's bigger than the gap between nominal tuitions, so in reality, Stanford has the lower real tuition rate. Where SCU performs better is the tuition range. While the average bill at Stanford is lower, Stanford's highest is higher than SCU's.
Let's look at the other claim Diamond makes though, that SCU has chosen not to raise tuition.
Uh huh ...yeah, that's just um... what's the word?