180asBreath wrote:So, if I stay in PI for 10 years:

I will owe $174,710.00

I will pay $12,657.50 out of pocket

I will pay $60,660.00 that LRAP awards me

The feds will forgive the remaining ~$102,000

And it doesn't matter what the types of the loans are as long as I accepted NU's loan offerings and didn't refinance.

Sort of. You are right about your own out-of-pocket expenses, but wrong about the other numbers. Assuming LRAP worked out for you, you are correct in that you would really only ever be on the hook for 12.5ish K.

You are right that will owe $174,710.00 when you graduate. But, keep in mind that interest will be substantial. Typically, IBR payments do not cover interest, so barring help that 174 k is actually growing as time passes. Also, NU only helps with the interest in years 1 - 5, and they only help with some of it. The final balance of your loan could very well exceed 174 K after ten years, even as you pay down. Regardless of these numbers, the entire balance will be forgiven, whether you chip away and get it down to 125 K, or whether it balloons to 225 K. "You" will not pay the 60 K LRAP awards you. At least it is confusing to think about it that way. Basically, LRAP is just Northwestern paying your loans for you. The 12 K is the bit that you pitch in to help them do that.

A couple other things:

1. NU does not extend LRAP for clerking. So, if you secured a clerkship, you would be on the hook for your IBR that year. Then, assuming you went into the public sector afterwards, NU would start LRAP. Clerking DOES apply for PSLF, but NOT for LRAP.

2. It would be best if you do not assume that you will be able to jump from a DA's office to big law at will.

3. PSLF and LRAP are typically only beneficial if you complete them. 5 years of LRAP/PSLF is not 50% of 10 years of LRAP/PSLF. The value is in the forgiveness of the loans and NU helping you with IBR. IBR help by itself is useful, but relatively less so if you have what is effectively a mortgage hanging over your head.