Harvard Law Kills Free Tuition Program
Too many takers for deal that required 5 years of public service
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2009 1:42 AM CST
Students walk through the Harvard Law School area on the campus of Harvard University.   (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, file)

(Newser) – Harvard Law School has suspended a free tuition program for students willing to work in public service after twice as many students as expected signed up. The Public Service Initiative, which waives tuition for students who pledge to work for the government or nonprofit organizations for 5 years after graduation, will still be offered to current students but not those enrolling in the future, the New York Times reports.

Deans say Harvard's shrinking endowment—which shriveled by more than a quarter between June 2008 and June 2009—is the cause. Between 50 and 60 students a year were expected to sign up for the program when it began in 2007, but the school found itself with 110 applicants this year as law firm jobs dried up. Aid programs at other law schools are coming under scrutiny but no others have been cut so far.