Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

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twenty
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Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:25 pm

( Note: I focus especially on T14 programs here. While the LRAP programs themselves are pretty explicit in what they do, up-to-date information from current PI-focused students at the law school is always best. If you see an error, let me know so some poor Google-surfing 0L doesn't get bad information. :) )

Preface:

LRAP is a blanket acronym for any law school-sponsored Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Some law schools refer to their LRAP programs by other names, such as UVA's "Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program" or Harvard's "Low Income Protection Plan," but ultimately all of these programs are similar enough in nature to be lumped in with the "LRAP" term.

Many of the top law schools had substantial LRAP programs even before IBR/PAYE came on the scene. For instance, Columbia Law would pay 100% of a student's loan payment as long as that student's salary was less than 50k a year. Anything north of that, the student would pay 33% of the amount above 50k a year.

While TLS has a very helpful article on LRAP programs, many are unfortunately out of date. For example, TLS's Columbia LRAP article only shows Columbia's old program (i.e, 50k + 1/3 above 50k). However, Columbia now offers two new LRAP programs based on IBR.

A brief word on the term "public interest." When 0Ls declare their "interest" in "law that makes the world a better place", it is very likely they end up gunning for a firm by the time OCI comes around. There are many reasons for this, all of which can be found on these forums with a bit of searching.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past six or so years, you'll know that there are significantly more law students than legal jobs. Public interest and government jobs are at almost a complete stand-still. Some federal agencies, like mine, are not being allowed to hire anyone that doesn't fill a highly critical position (follow-up: new attorneys are not "critical").

Here is a page that should hopefully explain how to get into PI/Govt: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=220431

All that to say, please, please do yourself a favor, and do not assume you're getting a full-time public interest/government job right out of law school.

EDIT> I've included a section for "How easy is it to obtain qualifying employment from this school?" This is an important factor, one that a lot of people may get upset about, but I think is important in determining the worth of an LRAP program. While you could say it's largely based on my personal opinion, my personal opinion takes into account the scope of the LRAP program (i.e, basically everyone who has a pulse qualifies for Yale's), the eligibility window, the percentage of students from graduating classes that have become participated in PI/Government careers, and least of all, the "subjective reputation" the school has. This also takes into account school-funded positions in contrast to permanent positions not funded by the school.

Yale

http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/F ... iption.pdf

Uses IBR/PAYE? No
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $50,000
Job type: Any, including academic. The wording in the program description leads one to believe that even non-legal jobs are covered. Part time work is also covered.
Eligibility: Always.


Harvard

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /lipp.html

Uses IBR/PAYE? No
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $46,000
Job type: Public or private. Up to 7 years in a PhD program may be applied to the program.
Eligibility: "No limited participation window."


Stanford

http://www.law.stanford.edu/tuition/assistance
--LinkRemoved--

Uses IBR/PAYE? No
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $50,000
Job type: Law-related, "public interest in spirit and content", at least part time. Academic is generally not acceptable.
Eligibility: Must first participate within 5 years of graduation, can not participate for more than ten years.

Columbia

http://web.law.columbia.edu/financial-a ... st-lawyers

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes*
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $71,000*
Job type: "Qualifying employment is full-time work that makes direct use of a graduate's legal education in the public interest or public service sectors, or in legal services for the poor."
Eligibility: Must participate within a 7-year window of graduation. IBR rules apply.

*Columbia allows students to utilize their old LRAP program, but seems to discourage it. The maximum then drops to $50,000

Chicago

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/financialaid/LRAP

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $80,000*
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.
Eligibility: No entry requirement, must be enrolled in IBR.

*Follow-up from user you'rethemannowdawg:
I spoke to Chicago's Office of Financial Aid in March about their LRAP, and the representative told me that above the $80,000 income cap, you are ineligible for the program and receive zero LRAP benefits.


Thus, Chicago is effectively all-or-nothing. Below 80k, Chicago takes care of 100% of the IBR payment. Above 80k, the participant pays the full IBR amount themselves.

NYU

http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/lrap/index.htm

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $80,000
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.
Eligibility: Upon graduation (excluding clerkships).

Penn

https://www.law.upenn.edu/admissions/fi ... ayment.php

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $80,000 (participant will also be awarded $1,200-$5,400 yearly for participation)
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.
Eligibility: Upon graduation, excluding clerkships. (can enter later, but will receive fewer benefits)

* LST (CO12) shows only 5.2% of graduates heading into PI/govt work. Hopefully this is due to rampant self-selection rather than a non-cooperative OCS.

Virginia

http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/public ... orgive.htm

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $55,000
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.
Eligibility: Upon graduation, excluding clerkships. NO REENTRY.

Berkeley

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/194.htm

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $65,000
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in more than part time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship.
Eligibility: Upon graduation. Judicial clerkship exception. No reentry?

Michigan

--LinkRemoved--

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: Tied to GS-11. At this time, that's $50,287.
Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.*
Eligibility: Five year window, clerkships grant exemption.

Note: Michigan provides LRAP benefits to those participating in IBR/PAYE under the maximum 88k threshold even if they are not working in a public service position. However, the timeline for forgiveness extends to 20 years rather than 10, and as of June 27, 2013, the forgiven amount IS TAXABLE!

Duke

http://law.duke.edu/admis/financial/lrap/

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $60,000. Cap for eligibility at $75,000.
Job type: *
Eligibility: One year window. NO REENTRY.

*Duke's setup is kind of odd, and difficult to explain in a limited amount of space. Look into it more closely here: http://law.duke.edu/admis/financial/lrap/

Northwestern

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... naid/lrap/

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $45,000
Job type: "Any graduate who starts work immediately after graduation or after a clerkship as an attorney or manager in any government or non-profit agency is eligible for LRAP."
Eligibility: Upon graduation. NO REENTRY.

Cornell

http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/admiss ... pilipp.cfm

Uses IBR/PAYE? No
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: Based on location. NYC is $45,052
Job type: Full time legal jobs with a state, federal, local government; legal services, non-profits. Part time covered on a pro-rata basis.
Eligibility: "Cornell Law School graduates may apply for this program at any point in their career."

Georgetown

http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admission ... /index.cfm

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $75,000
Job type: Full time legal jobs with a state, federal, local government; legal services, non-profits.
Eligibility: Within two years. Clerkship exception. NO REENTRY barring exceptional circumstances.

UCLA

https://www.law.ucla.edu/alumni-service ... lines.aspx

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $60,000
Job type: Full time legal jobs with a state, federal, local government; legal services, non-profits.
Eligibility: Within 3.5 years. Clerkship exception. NO REENTRTY.

USC

http://weblaw.usc.edu/how/jd/finaid/lrap.cfm

Uses IBR/PAYE? Yes*
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: $50,000
Job type: Full time legal jobs with a state, federal, local government; legal services, non-profits.
Eligibility: Within 5 years. Reentry within 5 years allowed.

*USC requires that other loan forgiveness/payment options be exhausted before LRAP


UTexas

http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publi ... lines.html

Uses IBR/PAYE? No*
Maximum income level for zero participant contribution: No maximum income level for zero contribution. On PAYE, in theory, this is between 45k and 47.5k.
Job type: Full time legal jobs with a state, federal, local government; legal services, non-profits.
Eligibility: Two years. Clerkship exception. NO REENTRY.

*Program can, and should be matched with PAYE for maximum benefit.

========================================================

I really Mumford'ed it up this time, and now I have no job.

The best part of the IBR/PAYE combined with PSLF is that your mistakes will be fairly pain-free. IBR and PAYE cover all forms of full time employment, and PSLF covers all kinds of public service employment, regardless of its relation to your actual degree. On top of that, because LRAP programs dovetail in with PSLF, if you can manage to land a public-service position (far easier than attempting to land a public service legal position), your time in the non-LRAP-qualifying job will still count towards loan forgiveness.

For the sake of the example, suppose you went to UPenn intent on getting a long-term PI job. You don't succeed, you couldn't get anything else out of OCI, and you'll be one of the few graduates coming out of UPenn without a legal job. You went at sticker, so you owe 250k+ in loans. But hey, you're in pretty good shape, so you decide to throw in an app to Army Officer Candidate School.

Assuming you succeed, you're making 33k your first year AGI, with a couple allowances that boost that up to about 53k. PAYE payments are $131 a month, so you're looking at $1572 in payments for the first year. After a few years, that's going to increase to about $3276/year.

Now, suppose after four years, you're done with being in the military, and as luck would have it, you find a public service legal job! Since UPenn will allow you to take six years of LRAP benefits and you're making far less than 80k in whatever, you never pay another cent towards your loans.

However, because you didn't take a doc-review job, you now have four years counting towards PSLF eligibility. So during those four years where you didn't qualify for the school's LRAP, you still only paid on average 2.2k a year towards your loans. Even if, in our hypothetical, you never get a legal job, you're still only going to ever pay about 30k's worth of loans over the course of ten years.

Years 1-4: PSLF eligible, but not LRAP eligible.
Payments: Between 1500/year and 6000/year depending on salary.

Years 4-10 PSLF eligible and LRAP eligible.
Payments: None.

Total paid towards degree: Maxes at about 25k.

----- Alternative world where you never make use of your law degree ------

Years 1-10 PSLF eligible, but not LRAP eligible.
Payments: Between 1500/year and 6000/year depending on salary.

Total paid towards degree: Maxes at about 60k

That's a lot of money, but nowhere close to the 250k+ you borrowed.

I did law school, but I hate law, and now I want to be an (xyz private sector job) and never serve the public again.

The good news is, you're not completely effed. The bad news is, instead of 10 years to loan forgiveness, you now have to do 20 years to loan forgiveness.

Upon graduating from law school, you take a job in the private sector. Let's suppose your "average salary" in this field is 80k, which would mean PAYE payments of $523/month.

Over the course of a 20-year long career, that means you will have paid back $125500 worth of loans before you qualify for forgiveness. At this time, forgiveness isn't the same as the PSLF forgiveness, and you're also hit with a substantial tax bomb based on the forgiven debt amount. But let's ignore that for now.

I don't qualify for the program because I had loans prior to 2007.

Enjoy IBR.

Hopefully you're reading this as a 0L. If you have loans outstanding made prior to 2007, PAY THOSE OFF FIRST. The difference between qualifying for PAYE and qualifying for IBR could be upwards of 65k.

=========================================================

Again, let me know if you see something wrong, and I'll update. :)
Last edited by twenty on Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:18 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:33 pm

solid aggregation. Now if only I could figure out what the hell PAYE is I'd be all set :lol:

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:46 pm

PAYE is basically IBR, but instead of 15% contribution above HHS poverty cap, it's 10%. The difference between IBR and PAYE for biglaw is pretty significant, but the difference between the two for LRAP is pretty much non-existent. :P

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justonemoregame
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby justonemoregame » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:35 am

Great write-up -- as far as the difficulty for obtaining qualifying employment from GU, wouldn't it seem somewhat easy? They place a ton of people in gov/pi. Surely not all of them qualify, but it would seem like a solid chunk are eligible.

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TheThriller
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:48 pm

Any info on UCLA/USC/VANDY/UT?

Very solid right up.

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:53 pm

TheThriller wrote:Any info on UCLA/USC/VANDY/UT?

Very solid right up.


Thanks! I'll add those schools when I have time later this week. :)

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sinfiery
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby sinfiery » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:34 pm

Awesome! Thank you for this.

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bananasplit19
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby bananasplit19 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:38 pm

Thanks for doing the legwork! :D Going into the decision process this cycle, I was totally in the dark about each school's LRAP prospects. This should be stickied for future 0Ls!

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zoidberg86
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby zoidberg86 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:44 pm

Great write up! I'm an 0L, so please feel free to check me on this, but for Michigan you say:

Job type: A graduate must be: engaged in the full-time practice of the law, or in a position normally requiring a law degree; working for the public interest and working for a non-profit organization, defined as a 501(c)(3), government office, or judicial clerkship, other than academia.


However, my understanding is that any full-time legal job is covered, as long as it is in the salary band (175% of GS-11, or $88k).

8. So the program is not limited to public interest jobs?

No, we do not require that employment be in public interest or public service. We really want our graduates to do the legal work they want to do, whether that is for a public interest organization, the government, or a small law firm in a sparsely populated area. The breadth of our program distinguishes it from most other similar programs.


And the only job that isn't covered, even if it is in the pay scale, is a judicial clerkship.

Generally speaking, if a J.D. is required for the job, then your job is "law-related." (Judicial clerkships, however, are temporary positions that are not qualified employment under the program.)


But thanks for combining all of this!

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:19 pm

Thanks Zoidberg -- you're right, Michigan's LRAP does cover low-paying private sector jobs too, but only on what appears to be a 25-year (though the website is probably out of date, and would also apply to a 20-year PAYE) timeline. This is different from Harvard or Yale's LRAPs, which are on ten-year timeframes even with non-PSLF qualifying jobs. Only PSLF-qualifying jobs are eligible for Michigan's ten-year LRAP, as it ties in to the forgiveness clause.

I've updated the OP to reflect this option. Thanks again. :)

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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby Hrun » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:32 pm

What do you mean by No Reentry? I don't see that stated in Cornell's PILIPP. In fact, the director of financial told me that the ten years of funding doesn't have to be consecutive and you can come in and out of the program.

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:21 am

I looked through Cornell's LRAP details more closely, and found:

Cornell Law School graduates may apply for this program at any point in their career.


But before, I'd found:

A student will qualify on a deferred basis if she engages in a one-year post-graduate judicial clerkship, and subsequently engages in qualifying public interest employment.


Which I took to mean that the ten years had to be consecutive, since usually one wouldn't "defer" indefinite qualification.

I'm going to assume that the more direct wording is indicative of Cornell's official policy. OP has been changed accordingly. :)

EDIT> Also noticed that part time employment is evaluated on a pro-rata basis.

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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:12 pm

Great post OP. Kudos.

1. I spoke to Chicago's Office of Financial Aid in March about their LRAP, and the representative told me that above the $80,000 income cap, you are ineligible for the program and receive zero LRAP benefits.

2. Why do you say Columbia seems to discourage students from using their old program? Do you say that because of the lower income cap, or have you heard of the school making it difficult for students to apply through the old program?

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:38 pm

you'rethemannowdawg wrote:1. I spoke to Chicago's Office of Financial Aid in March about their LRAP, and the representative told me that above the $80,000 income cap, you are ineligible for the program and receive zero LRAP benefits.


Thanks for the info! OP has been updated. :)

2. Why do you say Columbia seems to discourage students from using their old program? Do you say that because of the lower income cap, or have you heard of the school making it difficult for students to apply through the old program?


Columbia mentions three times on their brochure that: "It is highly recommended that all students consider consolidating their federal loan through the Direct Loan Consolidation Program and enter IBR at the start of participation in the Columbia Law School LRAP in order to avail themselves of the option to use the federal program[...]"

The cap for Columbia's old "non-IBR" program is 50k. Anything above 50k, the participant pays a third of. The cap for Columbia's new IBR program is 71k.

Columbia also offers a secondary IBR program with a 50k cap that allows the borrower to pay off principal "according to the traditional schedule", but also allows the student to make the minimum IBR payment at times, too. In short, they seem to really be into the idea of students using IBR/PAYE in conjunction with their LRAP -- likely because it costs them quite a bit less money.

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Justin Genious
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby Justin Genious » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:40 pm

Good shit, twenty. Thanks, bud.

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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby Legen..waitforit » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:00 pm

tag

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:55 pm

OP has been updated to show:

1) What happens if you can't get a LRAP-eligible job right out of law school. (probably the most important)
2) What happens if you can't get any public interest job.
3) A big warning against having unpaid federal student loans made prior to 2007.

Ti Malice
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:04 pm

Bumping this useful thread. Would be nice if we could get it pinned and collectively continue to add information to it.

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Br3v
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby Br3v » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:39 pm

Great contribution

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:38 pm

Added UCLA, USC and UTexas.

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TheThriller
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby TheThriller » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:37 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Added UCLA, USC and UTexas.


VANDY PLEASE

abl
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby abl » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:45 pm

Anyone actually wanna run some example numbers for these schools? Max at which school will contribute 100% is only a fairly small part of the equation -- if Harvard's repayment starts sooner, but is much more generous / gradual, it might still be far preferable to, say, Chicago, despite the above list's implications.

dkb17xzx
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby dkb17xzx » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:11 pm

I was hoping someone would be able to help me out with PAYE eligibility.

I took out federal loans in 2006 (before Oct 1., 2007) and had an active balance (the loans from 2006) on and after Oct 1, 2007.

Am I ineligible?

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:49 pm

TheThriller wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:Added UCLA, USC and UTexas.


VANDY PLEASE


That's up next. ;)

Anyone actually wanna run some example numbers for these schools? Max at which school will contribute 100% is only a fairly small part of the equation -- if Harvard's repayment starts sooner, but is much more generous / gradual, it might still be far preferable to, say, Chicago, despite the above list's implications.


For the most part, unless a school stops contributing entirely above a certain threshold (i.e, Chicago), you can typically expect to add a third of whatever amount is above the maximum "100% contribution" threshold. You can also typically count on lower 100% contribution thresholds to ultimately cost more than their higher counterparts:

Chicago, if you're making 75k, you pay $0. If you're making 85k, you pay $6780 a year (PAYE).

Harvard, if you're making 75k, you pay $10,400 a year. If you're making 85k, $14,400/yr.

The only difference in threshold I can see is schools that use a third above a cap contribution (i.e, Columbia) > Chicago, since Chicago literally cuts off after 80k, and Columbia is 1/3 contribution over 71k. Columbia at $80,001 you'd be paying $324 a year, and at Chicago you'd be paying $6780 a year.

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twenty
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Re: Twenty's guide to new (ish) LRAPs

Postby twenty » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:54 pm

dkb17xzx wrote:I was hoping someone would be able to help me out with PAYE eligibility.

I took out federal loans in 2006 (before Oct 1., 2007) and had an active balance (the loans from 2006) on and after Oct 1, 2007.

Am I ineligible?


You're ineligible for PAYE, but you are not ineligible for IBR. The good news is, if you do get an LRAP eligible spot, it wouldn't have mattered anyway since the school will (generally -- I think GULC is an exception) just as soon take care of IBR payment as PAYE payments. The bad news is, any other kind of employment, including biglaw for the 20-25 year track, is now significantly more expensive.

Is there any way you can pay off your student loans before you go to law school?




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