Anyway, to get back to the original post of this thread...if you want to do public interest law, it's not necessarily a safe decision to take on Georgetown-level debt if you are paying sticker. Depending on how prestigious of public interest you want to do, you may be better off just taking a full scholly from a lower Tier 1 and just networking your ass off at public interest law conferences. Some PI orgs are as elitist as Biglaw (if not more elitist), but others care a lot more about your actions when in law school more than your school rank/grades. If you ask me, taking the full scholarship is more of a safer bet in this area.
A lot of commenters see these positions as fall-back plans, but they are anything but. You need to 1) tailor your resume to them from the beginning, and 2) cross your fingers that your already rare position doesn't get de-funded. They're not likely to take someone that was gunning for Biglaw and missed out.
I only was able to get even my unpaid internships/clerkships with these places because I networked the fuck out of law school, published a note that was pro-public interest and had relevant pre-law school experience in one area. I wish there were more options/alternatives in this area, but the reality is that there are very few.
(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )