As many law school students finish their studies saddled with massive student debt, some might want to question whether a degree from an elite university is really necessary, according to The New York Times.
While it’s true that having one of the top law schools—think Harvard, Yale and Stanford—on your resume can lead to big bucks in your career, some of the less elite law schools also have a strong salary-to-debt ratios.
According to a study by Social Finance Inc. (SoFi), the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Georgia and the University of Houston are among the top ten law schools that offer graduates the right value based on the debt they incur during their studies and the salary they earn upon graduation.
The study—called the 2017 Law School Rankings Return on Education—looked at the salary-to-debt ratios for more than 60,000 borrowers applying to consolidate their student loans through SoFi between 2014 and 2016.
One surprising find is that the salary-to-debt ratio for a University of Texas graduate isn’t much different than it is for a Yale grad. While University of Texas students accrue a little over $105,000 in student loan debt, three years after graduation they earn an average of about $148,000 per year (1.4 times of the debt accumulated). It’s pretty much the same at Yale—the number one law school in the country—with students graduating with about $124,000 in debt and earning an average of about $172,000 three years after leaving the school.
SoFi also ranked the schools with the worst salary-to-debt ratio, which included Florida Coastal School of Law, Arizona Summit Law School and Charlotte School of Law. All three of these schools happen to be owned by Infilaw Holdings, a company based in Naples, Florida. At two of the schools, students accumulated over $100,000 in debt, yet only earned an average of $84,000 per year three years of graduation.
Other schools that received low scores include St. Thomas University, Appalachian School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Elon University.
image copyright Jesse Michael Nix