Interesting Facts: Tuition & Enrollment

- In recognition of the general economic status of women at the time, the WCL tuition in 1898 was $50, a Graduation fee of $5, all required textbooks were about $10 per annum. Tuition for class enrollment in 2003 is aproximately $28,000, the graduation fee no longer exists, but textbooks may add up to $900 per year. ((1) & 2003 Enrollment/Tuition records)

- Other local and nationally recognized Law school tuitions were $100 per year (double the amount of tuition at WCL), which included Howard University, Yale, Cornell, New York University and Boston University. These Universities, in 2003, averaged tuition of $30,000 per year including room and board and other personal expenses. (2)

- The female dominated professions were teaching (86 percent women) and social work (66 percent women). Women were a distinct minority in the law profession, standing only as 1.4 percent in 1920. But this gradually increased as women became more optimistic about law as a career option for women. By 1919, the Washington College of Law had close to 200 students enrolled for the school year. (2)

Newspaper clipping from the Grit regarding the Class of 1902
The Grit, May 12, 1928
 

- The Grit - (article on the right)
The Class of 1902 was the first class to have an equal number of men and women graduates, and included: Hon. George H. Macdonald, the popular judge of the Polko Court, who was the first man to take the entire three-year course in the College;

Miss Helen Varkk Boswell, who has recently been appointed by the President to represent the United States at Madrid in 1928, Miss Roswell is the vice president of the National Republican Committee;

Miss Bernie M. Dwyer, an brilliant speaker, has returned to Manilla to engage in newspaper work. Miss Dwyer lived in Manilla for several years and during a lengthy visit to the United States gave many lectures in behalf of the independence of the Phillippines;

Miss Mary Wood, formerly a member of the faculty lecturing on Contracts, was for many years an active club woman and lecturer, and now lives in New Lebason Center, N.Y.;

Mr. William Garber and Mr. Paul Fox were the other members of the Class and removed to the Pacific Coast, where Mr. Garber acquired a considerable fortune in the practive of law and died a few years ago. The school would like to hear of or from Mr. Fox.

- Despite the founders' intention to provide legal education to women and others outside the mainstream of the legal profession, the number of male students at WCL outpaced the number of women students soon after the law school entered its second decade. In fact, throughout much of the fourties, fifties, and the sixties, the number of women graduates remained between one and five per year. It was not until 1981 that the number of women in an entering class again outnumbered men, with a 51% majority. (3)

- The rate of growth of women in law between 1910 and 1950 never fell below 19 percent and typically exceeded it; compared to the low growth percentage rate for men, which never rose above 10 percent (except in 1920-1930). (2)


- (1) Catalogue of the Washington College of Law, Gibson Bros., Printers and Binders, Washington D.C., 1898.

- (2) Drachman, Virginia G., Sisters In Law, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998, p. 163 & 174.

- (3) Washington College of Law Brochure: 1896-1996 Celebrating a Century of Excellence. University Publications, American University, 1996

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