College Guide


December 03, 2009 6:20 PM Harvard Law Ends Public Service Tuition Waiver

By Daniel Luzer


So much for that free tuition. Last year the spectacularly expensive Harvard Law School promised free tuition for all third-year students who pledged to work in public service law for at least five years after graduation. Well no longer.

The law school announced earlier this week that it was ending the program, called the Public Service Initiative.

The goal of the program was to encourage students to pursue careers in public service law, which is relatively low paying.

But the program turned out to be too popular. Twice the amount of students signed up as the school expected and, with Harvard University’s endowment falling 27 percent over last year, the tuition forgiveness program no longer looked feasible.

The school will continue to allow students currently involved in the Public Service Initiative to take advantage of free tuition.

The median entry-level salary for public service attorneys is about $41,000 a year. Tuition at Harvard Law School is $40,000 a year.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • smartbrains on July 03, 2010 5:29 AM:

    "I want all of our students to have the ability to make public service their first choice after law school," said Kagan. "We have tried in many ways to make this choice easier, particularly for students who have accumulated significant debt in college and law school. This initiative, which effectively provides a $40,000-plus grant to all our public service-oriented students, is the next big step toward giving our students greater career choices. There is no better time to announce it than now - following our first-ever Celebration of Public Interest."

  • chuchi lechadores on August 14, 2010 6:56 AM:

    how much the tuition?