16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

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StarLightSpectre
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby StarLightSpectre » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:30 pm

Br3v wrote:
StarLightSpectre wrote:
Kafka wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Cool


Story


BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yes


Come on man, you gotta act like you've been there before haha



You should have seen how fast I was hitting submit. haha

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thelawyler
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby thelawyler » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:40 am

StarLightSpectre wrote:You should have seen how fast I was hitting submit. haha

Cool

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Br3v
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:04 am

thelawyler wrote:
StarLightSpectre wrote:You should have seen how fast I was hitting submit. haha

Cool


Story lol

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby jkpolk » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:32 am

bro.

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thelawyler
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby thelawyler » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Best part is brevs avatar is just perfect

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PARTY
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby PARTY » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:30 pm

thelawyler wrote:Best part is brevs avatar is just perfect


nah, the best part is the meta-application of a meme.

nkp007
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby nkp007 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:40 pm

Anxiously waiting for the epic slap law schools will endure in this cycle and next...especially since they've been slapping applicants for a decade.

As it goes in investing, "When the tide goes out, you discover who's been swimming naked".

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby StarLightSpectre » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:06 pm

F'n karma

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:12 am

nkp007 wrote:Anxiously waiting for the epic slap law schools will endure in this cycle and next...especially since they've been slapping applicants for a decade.

As it goes in investing, "When the tide goes out, you discover who's been swimming naked".


There may not be an epic slap, at least as far as money's concerned. When it comes to the law school business, the normal rules don't seem to apply.

As law school applicant volume declines, LSAC is raising application-related fees significantly across the board, including the LSAT registration fee. And this is directly in response to the declining number of test-takers / applicants.

It's a strange market where the seller jacks up the price in response to plummeting demand.

Details: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/ls ... e-why.html

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby MLBrandow » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:25 am

LSAT Blog,

Are you equivocating LSAC fees with law school fees in general? It makes sense that if the price of properly vetting an LSAT for administration remains static, LSAC has no choice but to raise fees to compensate for the decrease in applicant volume. I'm not sure one can make a similar claim to the price of law school when they are essentially profit-driven, whereas LSAC is not. Even if many of those law schools don't reap the benefits of most of their profits, their universities certainly do.

Adjusting for inflation, the LSAT registration fee has remained roughly static over the past 11 years. (Worth noting is that this graph is calculated in 2001 US Dollars because I just realized I did my inflation backwards, but the point should be the same.)

In fact, it seems that LSAC may be forecasting a slightly further drop next cycle (as 125,000 LSATs would be needed to maintain the average income, although this doesn't give consideration to application fees or application volume per applicant).

Image
edit: graph legend
Last edited by MLBrandow on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYCLSATTutor
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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:32 am

Also LSAC is a monopoly. Law Schools compete with one another. One of the only schools that I know of where applications haven't decreased is CUNY which is, not coincidentally I think, one of the cheapest schools out there.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby sunynp » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:24 pm

Why aren't they charging school more to participate? If they need more money why didn't they look to the schools. The number of schools participating isn't changing. And tuition certainly isn't going down.

Here is the thing: if fewer students are applying costs to LSAC should go down. They have a couple hundred thousand less people to process. Why isn't LSAC cutting costs to accomodate the reduction in applicants. That is what most businesses including law firms do.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby TatNurner » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:45 pm

Negativity about law school is music to my ears.

Videos like this give me faith that we haven't seen the bottom yet.

As an interesting aside, I feel like the news about declining law school apps/LSATS administered is having a positive feedback effect where it is amplifying the unpopularity of law school, (e.g. "law school is so bad, look how many people are giving up on it" ) rather than giving the impression that this trend should make things easier in the near future, which is what most of us watching this stuff closely are thinking.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:49 pm

sunynp wrote:Why aren't they charging school more to participate? If they need more money why didn't they look to the schools. The number of schools participating isn't changing. And tuition certainly isn't going down.

Here is the thing: if fewer students are applying costs to LSAC should go down. They have a couple hundred thousand less people to process. Why isn't LSAC cutting costs to accomodate the reduction in applicants. That is what most businesses including law firms do.


Well being that LSAC was set up by law schools for law schools, you can guess where their loyalties are. And LSAC isn't run like other businesses. Other businesses cut prices when demand falls because of economics and supply & demand. LSAC doesn't abide by those economic rules because they are a monopoly.

Also I suspect that the main cost LSAC has is developing the test, which would help explain their actions.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:38 pm

MLBrandow wrote:Are you equivocating LSAC fees with law school fees in general? It makes sense that if the price of properly vetting an LSAT for administration remains static, LSAC has no choice but to raise fees to compensate for the decrease in applicant volume. I'm not sure one can make a similar claim to the price of law school when they are essentially profit-driven, whereas LSAC is not. Even if many of those law schools don't reap the benefits of most of their profits, their universities certainly do.

Adjusting for inflation, the LSAT registration fee has remained roughly static over the past 11 years.


Those are great charts.

Non-profit organizations often seek to maximize revenue, just as for-profit organizations do (i.e. many law schools). Another thing LSAC/law schools have in common is that, for those who haven't yet decided what to do after undergrad, everything associated with attending law school is elastic. No one has a monopoly on the opportunities one has after finishing undergrad.

However, I don't mean to equivocate the two. LSAC's monopoly (a point I allude to when contrasting LSAT and GMAT fee increases in my post) is a key difference for those who've decided they want to pursue law school.

But, if LSAC sees demand as being relatively inelastic (HT: hung jury) even when it comes to retaking, sending multiple law school applications (LSAC gets money from CRS reports), perhaps law schools will see demand as somewhat inelastic as well when it comes to application fees and even tuition (although, yes, certainly less so, due to the element of competition).

I know this is obvious, but, while schools do compete with each other, there's a great deal of variation in the benefits that graduates derive from different law schools. Such benefits will affect applicants' decisions (when it comes to factors like geography, size, etc.). In those regards, schools can have unique advantages. Additionally, they may keep their full tuition high while offering a greater amount of financial aid (making their real tuition far lower).

Last cycle, applicant volume fell to the lowest point in 10 years, yet tuition has continued to increase significantly. I don't know precisely when the tuition is set at the various schools. However, increases for the top 3 from 2011-12 to 2012-13:

Stanford's rose from $47,460 to $48,870 (+2.97%)
Harvard's rose from $47,600 to $48,786 (+2.49%)
Yale's rose from $50,275 to $51,350 (+2.14%)

The rate of tuition increase will certainly be slower than it was prior to 2010, but I do think there will be cases in which it increases above inflation. It's already started to slow, so whatever we see now will hardly be an "epic slap."

And, while I agree that LSAC has no choice but to find additional funds in order to meet its expenses, it might make more sense for law schools to help out, since they stand to lose a great deal from a smaller applicant pool (as I argue in my post and sunynp noted.) However, I believe that most of LSAC's operating costs are relatively fixed, regardless of applicant / application volume, including both the LSAT and the application-related services it provides.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:45 pm

TatNurner wrote:Negativity about law school is music to my ears.

Videos like this give me faith that we haven't seen the bottom yet.

As an interesting aside, I feel like the news about declining law school apps/LSATS administered is having a positive feedback effect where it is amplifying the unpopularity of law school, (e.g. "law school is so bad, look how many people are giving up on it" ) rather than giving the impression that this trend should make things easier in the near future, which is what most of us watching this stuff closely are thinking.


Yes, that's definitely the impression I get from the news articles that come out. No one else really seems to be interested in dropping LSAT medians / easier admission to T14, etc., except us. If the # of LSATs administered drop further, next cycle may have even fewer 170+ applicants.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby ahnhub » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:59 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:
TatNurner wrote: As an interesting aside, I feel like the news about declining law school apps/LSATS administered is having a positive feedback effect where it is amplifying the unpopularity of law school, (e.g. "law school is so bad, look how many people are giving up on it" ) rather than giving the impression that this trend should make things easier in the near future, which is what most of us watching this stuff closely are thinking.


Yes, that's definitely the impression I get from the news articles that come out. No one else really seems to be interested in dropping LSAT medians / easier admission to T14, etc., except us. If the # of LSATs administered drop further, next cycle may have even fewer 170+ applicants.


So what I'm hoping for is that I'm buying low and selling high on this whole law school thing.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:12 pm

LSAC's applicant info through 4/13 is out:

http://www.lsac.org/Members/Data/current-volume.asp

Nothing too significant, except for the fact that the decline seems to be softening a bit (just a bit). Perhaps a few more people are applying late this year than last.

Overall applicant decline went from 15.6% to 15%, application decline from 13.6% to 12.9%, and the decline in 170-174-scoring applicants has gone from 20.7% to 20%.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby KevinP » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:31 pm

^
Interesting. I wonder why some of the 170+ applicants decided to apply this late at a faster rate than last year.

On a related note:
"and it is worth noting that Northwestern Law has seen just a very slight decline this year (in approximately the 4% range) and no decline in the high-end LSAT applicants"

http://deansblog.law.northwestern.edu/2 ... n-decline/

thoughts?

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby ahnhub » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:49 pm

KevinP wrote:^
Interesting. I wonder why some of the 170+ applicants decided to apply this late at a faster rate than last year.

On a related note:
"and it is worth noting that Northwestern Law has seen just a very slight decline this year (in approximately the 4% range) and no decline in the high-end LSAT applicants"

http://deansblog.law.northwestern.edu/2 ... n-decline/

thoughts?


I think there's a lot of things "high-end LSAT applicants" can mean. Also the whole "just blanket T-14" thing is probably catching on very fast.

I mean, law schools have all been clamoring to proclaim that while overall applications are plummeting, THEY are faced with the most impressive, largest, most special-snowflake applicant pool in school history.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby sunynp » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:25 pm

Re the increase in fees, by Brian Tamahana

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/04/what ... chool.html

Thursday, April 19, 2012
What is Going On at Law School Admission Council (LSAC)?

Brian Tamanaha

The LSAC administers the LSAT as well as the applications of students to law school. Anyone who wishes to attend law school--tens of thousands of people every year--must go through LSAC. The monopoly position it holds makes it a reliable money producing machine. From 2005 to 2009, income from test and application fees generated a total of $230,000,000 (By year: $41,500,000; $43,000,000; $43,5000,000; $47,900,000; $53,900,000; and 2010 fees will exceed $55,000,000).

Setting aside 2008 and 2009, when it suffered substantial losses in the market, LSAC's revenues exceed its liabilities by a significant margin every year. That's because it earns much more on fees than it costs to administer the tests and applications. At the end of the 2010 fiscal year it was up by $17,500,000 from its starting balance.

Given this money making capability, it is not surprising that LSAC has assets of $191,000,000--including cash and securities of $170,900,000--which produces millions more in annual investment income.

This is relevant because LSAC President Dan Bernstein just announced that the fee to take the exam is going up by 15 percent. Application fees are going up as well. With these price hikes, an applicant who takes the LSAT and applies to six law schools will pay LSAC about $450. That's no small amount.

Law schools cannot view this as good news, since they are already dealing with a sharp decline in applicants.

Bernstein explained that the increase in fees is necessary because the fall in applications of the past two years has cut into revenues.
"It is now time for us to correct our fees in light of new volume realities, and to align them more closely with the true value of those services to law schools and their applicants," Bernstine wrote. "We sincerely hope that this will be the only correction to our candidate-fee levels, and that the 'new normal' will identify itself in the next couple of years."
By mentioning true value, what he means is that "the level of service provided to applicants has grown over time — making the process more convenient and worth the extra money." That is, they are getting more so they should pay more.

What Bernstein doesn't state in his explanation for the fee increase is that LSAC will lose money on its operation without the hike. That would be hard to imagine given that the fees generated appear to exceed the costs of running the tests and processing the applications, much of which is computerized.

When a business is faced with declining demand, the usual course is to cut price (and reduce expenses), but LSAC is doing the opposite. LSAC is not a "business," of course. It is a non-profit organization that was created by law schools to administer the LSAT--with equal voting shares held by every ABA accredited law school. It doesn't need to cut price because it holds a monopoly, and the decline is not owing to the price of its service but to a dampening of interest in attending law school. There is no point in cutting price, they probably reason, because that won't lead to more applicants.

That's true enough, but it still doesn't explain why fee hikes are necessary given that LSAC is sitting on nearly $200 million in assets, and revenues exceed expenses.

Here is another curiosity: the officers of this non-profit are extremely well compensated. In 2009, the President earned $635,000 (with what looks like a $200,000 forgivable loan upon hiring)--compared to the previous president who earned $442,000 in 2007. The next highest officers earned $375,000, $322,800, $299,2000, $282,000, $252,500, $237,400, $231,912, and so on. In 2008, the four highest officers below the President also received one time supplemental payments of $100,000, $100,000, $85,000, and $70,000.

This a lot of money to pay people for what amounts to running a money machine. They do not engage in any fundraising. Their income stream is unrelated to anything they do: revenue goes up when more people apply to law school and goes down with the reverse.

I have previously raised questions about LSAC and its role in connection with law schools. There is no doubt that it can provide a much better service--in particular by supplying the ABA the data on LSAT and GPA medians for every law school. It has this information in its data bank and providing this directly to the ABA would avoid errors as well as false reporting.

Law schools elect the Board of Trustees that oversees LSAC. It is time to elect people who will take a hard look at its operation. What are LSAC's priorities? Why is it amassing a huge pile of money? Why is it raising fees when it is not losing money? Why are the officers paid so much? Why is there a general counsel and assistant general counsel, with a combined salary of half a million dollars, along with legal fees to outside law firms totaling another half a million dollars? Why is a million dollars spent each year on lobbying? Why does LSAC pay for "guests" to accompany staff members to two board meetings a year? (All of this information is available on Guidestar).

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with LSAC. There may be good answers to all of this. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby American_in_China » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:13 pm

Well I got a good scholarship from Michigan and accepted off the waitlist at Chicago, so I'm going to say this was a splitter friendly cycle.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby marcellus » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:37 am

.
Last edited by marcellus on Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby LSAT Blog » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:05 pm

ahnhub wrote:
KevinP wrote:^
Interesting. I wonder why some of the 170+ applicants decided to apply this late at a faster rate than last year.

On a related note:
"and it is worth noting that Northwestern Law has seen just a very slight decline this year (in approximately the 4% range) and no decline in the high-end LSAT applicants"

http://deansblog.law.northwestern.edu/2 ... n-decline/

thoughts?


I think there's a lot of things "high-end LSAT applicants" can mean. Also the whole "just blanket T-14" thing is probably catching on very fast.

I mean, law schools have all been clamoring to proclaim that while overall applications are plummeting, THEY are faced with the most impressive, largest, most special-snowflake applicant pool in school history.


+1

Assuming the definition of high-end has not changed from year to year (and that high-end = 170+), my guess is that the average 170+ applicant is blanketing the T14 more so than in the past, as ahnhub suggested.

If this represents a significant increase in the average # of applications per 170+ applicant sent to T14, it may be possible that the overall pool of 170+ applicants could shrink significantly (the -20% in the 170-174 range we're currently seeing), yet no T14 would experience a decline in # of applications received from top scorers.

Of course, this would present a major problem for schools when the top-scoring applicants decide where to enroll, and they find that their yield rates are not what they used to be.

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Re: 16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

Postby cogitoergosum » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:56 pm

A mere week after Chicago's deposit deadline, LSN shows Four WL acceptances (half of last year's total of eight), all with high LSAT's (three 172's and a 179).

Same story at UT Austin - deposit deadline April 15th, already 6 WL acceptances (only 3 WL acceptances total last year), 5 are at/above median LSAT, 3 are at/above 75th LSAT.

It's early, but this seems to fit the theory we've been batting around..

Thoughts?




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