Participation in the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP or Program) generally requires qualifying employment of at least one year before payment is authorized and applicant must show proof of good standing.
- The program will pay a grant in one lump sum upon certification of eligibility. Since the program awards a grant, IRS regulations require that a form 1099 be issued at the end of the calendar year of the grant.
- All grant recipients are encouraged to contribute to and support the Loan Repayment Assistance Program at the School of Law. While there is no longer a requirement of repayment, recipients are encouraged to contribute to the continuation of the program when they are able to do so.
- It is the hope of the committee to award up to five(s) grants of varying amounts each year. The exact amounts of the awards and the number of awardees will depend on the number of approved applications, the amount repaid during the year, and available funding for the entire year.
- For the 2016 award year (ending June 30, 2016) the LRAP Board awarded three awards at an average amount of $7,600.
A. Exception to Full-Time Requirement
The LRAP Governing Board is authorized to make exceptions to the full-time employment requirement in Section IV (B) above for a maximum of two years, so long as the employment is not less than half time. A graduate applying for this exception must already be a participant in the Program, having satisfied the full-time employment requirement upon initial application. Examples of acceptable justifications for an exception to the full-time employment requirement include child or elder care responsibilities.
It is anticipated that the administration, students and alumni will engage in fundraising to support the LRAP. Funds raised for LRAP shall be expended exclusively on LRAP, and shall not be diverted to other uses.
C. Community Defenders, Inc.
On August 31, 1994, Community Defenders, Inc. made a one-time contribution of $36,093.33 to USD's LRAP. These funds are restricted to eligible LRAP applicants who are working in indigent criminal defense.
Graduates are eligible for funding from the LRAP program for a maximum of five years. Students who leave LRAP approved programs and file for funding again can participate for a total of 5 years.
In order to be considered for continued funding, participants in the LRAP program must complete the annual application process and continue to have their eligibility confirmed by the LRAP Governing Board.
F. Previous Recipients
As of March 1, 1999 all loans subject to loan forgiveness under previous program guidelines are converted to grants.
By implementing this Program, the University of San Diego School of Law makes no guarantee as to the future funding or permanent existence of this program. The School of Law reserves the right to terminate or modify the Program or any of its provisions at any time. Benefits will be paid only to the extent that funds are available and the Program continues to exist.
Currently, there are a few federal options for public interest attorneys to receive help with their educational debt. Some public interest attorneys, however, may qualify for some federal loan repayment assistance.
Perkins Loan Forgiveness
Attorneys working in a nonprofit child or family service agency with high risk children from low income families may qualify to have some of their Perkins Loans (not Direct Loans) forgiven under 34 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Section 674.51. Attorneys who believe they may qualify should write to the Perkins Loan officer at their law school, citing this section of the code and requesting loan forgiveness.
Prosecutors working in an agency that enforces criminal law may qualify to have some of their Perkins Loans (not Direct Loans) forgiven under 34 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Section 674.57. Attorneys who believe they may qualify should write to the Perkins Loan officer at their law school, citing this section of the code and requesting loan forgiveness. Public defenders do not currently qualify for this assistance.
Employees of Federal Agencies
Under rules issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), federal agencies may now offer loan repayment assistance. The rules allow agencies to pay up to $6,000 a year, $40,000 total, per person. To receive the benefit, the applicant must sign an agreement to work for the agency for not less than three years. Agencies that may begin offering this benefit include the Department of Justice, Commerce Department, General Services Administration, Social Security Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Veterans Affairs Department. Other agencies may follow. To determine if a specific agency is offering the benefit, please contact that agency directly.
Additional information about other LRAP resources can be found on the USD website under Financial Aid.
Links to Non-USD Loan Repayment Information
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA)
The CCRAA creates a new loan forgiveness option for borrowers who hold public service jobs. Borrowers who meet requirements outlined in the law may be eligible to have a portion of their student loan debt forgiven. Further information about this program can be found at www.equaljusticeworks.org.