TheTallOne0602 wrote:As far as financial aid goes at YHS, I know it is only need based, but how much "need" do you have to have? Also, Yale apparently has a great long term assistance program. Why is it great? What does it do that is so awesome?
I am certainly not guarunteed to get into any of the three, but in case I do, I wouldn't mind knowing.
I can't speak to Yale's loan assistance, but here's how Harvard's LIPP works as I understand it:
1) Covers not only public service work, but also private work as long as the work is "law-related" and fits within the income profiles described below.
2) If you leave your public sector job after a couple years to go to a law firm, you don't have to repay any benefits you earned.
3) You can enter LIPP at any time (if you work for a law firm for 3-4 years, you can leave and go to work for public service, and enter LIPP then).
4) Covers not just law school loans, but up to $30,000 in undergrad loans and $10,000 in bar prep loans.
5) Covers not just federally backed loans but also private loans up to the cost of attendance, meaning you could take private loans at a lower interest rate than the federal loan system.
6) If your income is below $44,000/year, the way LIPP works is they write a check that covers your entire loan payment for the year; that means they're actually paying down your principal, and (if you're on a 10-year repayment schedule) they'll repay your loan entirely over 10 years; unlike IBR there's nothing left owed that has to be forgiven at the end of the 10 years. If you leave after 3 years to go to a firm, your debt has actually been reduced by 3 years' worth of full loan payments.
7) If your income is above $44,000/year, they calculate how much you have to contribute as a % of your income over $44,000/year, but they still pay the full remaining amount. (At some certain point, the % over $44,000 you'd have to pay becomes equal to the loan amount and you have to repay the loans yourself, which is what keeps people with BigLaw jobs from using LIPP to repay loans.)
In comparison, some lower T14 schools have LRAPs, but they have big differences:
1) Newly revised LRAPs require you to use IBR and then make your IBR payment for you. IBR can lower your payment to a point that it may not pay down your principal; if the loan payments never pay down the $180,000 you owe, you could stay in public service for 10 years and have the debt forgiven by the government in the end, but if you wanted to move to a firm before then, you'd be on the hook for the full $180,000 when you did.
2) IBR only covers qualifying federally backed loans, so LRAPs using IBR don't cover private loans. Other LRAPs may also only cover qualifying federal loan programs as well.
3) Many LRAPs only cover law school loans, and not any undergrad or bar prep loans.
4) Many LRAPs have a time window where you must enter public service within 1-2 years of graduating or completing a clerkship; if you go work for a firm for 2-3 years and then move into public service, you're not eligible for their LRAP anymore.
5) Most LRAPs don't cover private-sector employment at all, even if it's low-income enough to qualify; you either have to find qualifying public sector work or find a private-sector job that pays enough to cover your loans.
6) Some LRAPs may require you to stay in public service for a minimum number of years and repay their contributions if you leave early.
7) I think schools are in the process of modifying this, but I've seen LRAPs with income caps as low as $35,000 before you start having to contribute a % of your income.
That can give you an idea of what the big differences are.