Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance Budgets are based on direct expenses (tuition & fees) and estimated indirect expenses (room & board, books & supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses) for one academic year; two semesters (fall and winter) spanning nine months. Actual expenses vary based on student lifestyle and personal choices. We want our students to make the best decisions today to make sure they are prepared for tomorrow.

To estimate your cost of attendance, combine the direct expenses and the indirect expenses that fit your goals for the 2019-20 academic year.

JD Program


    Direct Expenses

    Direct Expenses

    Tuition is charged at a fixed per credit rate regardless of the number of credits. The tuition rate for the 2019-20 academic year will be $1,493 per credit. That being said, during the first year of law school students elect to study one of three different pathways to completing their degree: Full-Time (30 credits), Part-Time (24 credits), or Extended Part-Time (18 credits). Below is a cost comparison of the direct expenses for those three pathways:

    Direct Expenses
    Status Full-Time Part-Time Extended
    Total Credits 30 24 18
    Tuition ($1,493/credit hour) $44,790 $35,832 $26,874
    Student Bar Association Fees $110 $110 $110
    Parking Fee $400 $400 $400
    Sum of Direct Expenses $45,300 $36,342 $27,384

    Indirect Expenses

    Indirect Expenses

    You are in control of how much you spend on your indirect expenses. We encourage students to complete a personal budget to help evaluate their costs. The budgets below are created using data provided by the College Board, which is developed using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, each student has their own living expenses and their own financial goals. Please review the information below regarding the indirect costs. 

    Thrifty Living Expense Budget

    We've created the Detroit Mercy Law Thrifty Budget to assist students in reducing the amount they may need to finance their law degree. The Thrifty Budget approach focuses on a reduced budget for room & board, books & supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses by encouraging students to live with roommates, purchase used books or rent books, and reduce their overall spending for the law school years. This budget assumes students are spending approximately $695/month on rent and utilities. 

    Students are not required to use the Detroit Mercy Law Thrifty Budget but should consider it as an option when looking for housing, purchasing books, and planning other living expenses during law school. First-year law students are awarded financial aid using the Thrifty Budget. If you would like to opt out of the Thrifty Budget and use the Standard Budget, please contact the Detroit Mercy Law Financial Aid Office.

    Indirect Expenses (Thrifty Budget)
    Status Full-Time Part-Time Extended
    Total Credits 30 24 18
    Books & Supplies $1,500 $1,200 $900
    Room & Board $6,975 $6,975 $6,975
    Transportation $2,703 $2,162 $1,081
    Personal/Miscellaneous  $4,080 $4,080 $4,080
    Stafford Loan Fee $218 $218 $218
    Sum of Indirect Expenses $15,476 $14,635 $13,254

    Standard Living Expense Budget

    The standard student cost of attendance budget represents the maximum estimated expenses that a law student will incur during the academic year without submitting additional paperwork. This budget assumes you are spending around $1040/month on rent and utilities. If you are spending more than that, we can increase your budget a reasonable amount but you will need to complete some paperwork and provide us with a copy of your lease.

    Indirect Expenses (Standard Budget)
    Status Full-Time Part-Time Extended
    Total Credits 30 24 18
    Books & Supplies $2,250 $1,800 $1,350
    Room & Board $10,415 $10,415 $10,415
    Transportation $2,703 $2,162 $1,081
    Personal/Miscellaneous $6,092 $6,092 $6,092
    Stafford Loan Fee $218 $218 $218
    Sum of Indirect Expenses $21,678 $20,687 $19,156

Dual JD Program


    Dual JD Program

    Dual JD program allows students to earn both an American and a Canadian JD in three years. Tuition is determined for each incoming class and stays the same throughout the three-year program. Students pay tuition and certain fees to each institution. The tuition and fees listed here are for the Detroit Mercy Law part of the program only.

    The Detroit Mercy portion of the budget includes the direct costs (tuition & fees) and an estimate of the indirect costs (room & board, books & supplies, personal/miscellaneous, and transportation). Living expenses (room & board and personal/miscellaneous) are based on the location of residence; some students choose to live in Metro Detroit while others choose to live in and around Windsor. The living expenses for Detroit Mercy Law use the Thrifty Budget (see above). Students can switch to the Standard Budget by emailing Law Financial Aid. University of Windsor will determine the living expenses budget for those students who choose to live in Canada. Please note, the expenses in the estimated cost of attendance are shown in US dollars. 

    1st Year Estimated Cost of Attendance Dual JD
    Detroit Mercy Law Windsor Law Total
    Direct Expenses Tuition $25,690 $13,083† $38,773
    Fees $510 TBD* TBD*
    Sum of Direct Expenses $26,200 TBD* TBD*
    Indirect Expenses Books & Supplies $1,700 --
    Room & Board $6,975 --
    Transportation $2,162 --
    Personal/Miscellaneous $4,080 --
    Sum of Indirect Expenses $13,667 --
    Cost of Attendance   $39,867**
    †Based off of a .0745577 USD conversion rate.
    *Coming Soon! Windsor Law is finalizing the fees for the 2019-20 year. We will update this as soon as the information is available.
    **The total cost of attendance for Detroit Mercy Law reflects the cost for students residing in the United States.

Personal Budgeting

Being fiscally responsible during law school reaps rewards later on in life. We encourage students to complete a personal budget to help evaluate their costs.

    Plan ahead

    Here are some easy steps to being more financially wise:

    Step 1 - Track Your Spending. Keep a record of every penny you spend for a couple of months, especially the months before law school starts. It will feel difficult, tedious, and boring, but it's important to see where your money is going.

    Step 2 - Actually Save. Saving a few dollars every month is still saving. Put your change in a jar every day. Transfer money from your checking to your savings; if you don't see it you might not spend it. 

    Step 3 - Create a Budget. You don't have to use the budget we provided. An app might be better for you and there are plenty of free ones out there.

    Step 4 - Review Your Budget. If you have a budget you've been using, take a look at it again. Then about halfway through your first year of law school, take a look at your budget again and see how things have changed.


    Practical Ideas

    • If moving, look for an apartment/housing where your rent includes heat; try to avoid apartments with electric heat.
    • Live with one or more roommates.
    • If you live near campus, think about riding a bike/scooter or walking to campus. If you don't have a car, you don't have to pay for the parking pass. Ask yourself if your car is necessary?
    • Meal prep and pack your meals, including snacks, especially for long days on campus.
    • Make your coffee/tea at home and bring it to school. Investing in a good thermos or good travel mug will save you in the long run.
    • Know your credit score now and resolve any questions you have about it before law school starts. This will help if you are interested in private educational loans during your degree or may want bar study loans for afterward.
    • Get a Detroit Public Library card or a card from your city of residence. You can do a lot more than just rent books from a library.