Kansas City, Mo The University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas are in a border war of sorts as they vie for law school students.
For the last four years, Missouri-Kansas City's law school has provided the equivalent to in-state undergraduate tuition for most Kansas residents. Now, the Kansas School of Law is responding, saying it will use a new scholarship program to allow residents of 11 Missouri counties to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition — $19,623 a year instead of $33,067 for out-of-state students.
Missouri-Kansas City's law school does not formally waive out-of-state tuition, but nearly all of those students get in-state tuition rates. For Missouri residents, tuition and fees at the law school are $17,885 a year, compared with $35,995 a year for out-of-state students, The Kansas City Star reported.
In 2012, Missouri-Kansas City had 25 first-year law students from Kansas; only three of them did not get the in-state tuition rate. Last year, four of 37 first-year students from Kansas did not get the in-state rate, the university said.
"We've always considered ourselves Kansas City's leading law school," assistant dean Steven Freedman of the University of Kansas Law School said in a news release. "Now with the Vantage Scholarship, we feel we can recruit just as well on both sides of the border."
Leaders at the Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, of course, disagreed about which law school was the leader in the Kansas City region.
"I don't know what that means," said Ellen Suni, the school's dean. "We have for a long time been Kansas City's law school. We have a great relationship with the Kansas City community. We are the only law school in Kansas City."
For Courtney Stout of Kansas City, the new Kansas program "changed the playing field."
Stout, a 22-year-old University of Missouri senior who plans to go to law school in the fall, wants to be closer to home.
"KU is close, but with the out-of-state tuition I couldn't consider it," said Stout, who is living in Columbia until she graduates. "The Vantage grant put KU on the same field now with any of the Missouri law schools. It makes KU more feasible for me."
Students from Bates, Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties are eligible for the discounted Kansas Law School tuition.