The Straight Poop on Davis & IBR:
Got off phone w/FinAid office just a few minutes ago.
Bottom line is that, no: Davis LRAP does not work in conjunction with IBR.
The school's LRAP is instead designed to pay off a bigger chunk of your debt sooner. This of course means that you will be paying more per month (than under LRAP + IBR programs), and that Davis will be paying more overall. On the other hand, it also means that, should you decide to jump the PI/govt ship after a few years, you'll have knocked out quit a bit of debt (about $18,000 per year in the $58,000 scenario). You could of course use begin using IBR (which always applies to private sector jobs if you earn little enough), but at what cost in terms of interest???
I was told also that no graduate who seeks the aid is turned away. This is great news. (And I should mention/re-iterate that anyone earning less than $40K is off the hook entirely. But, still, poor bastard.)
All I can think is how much money Davis (or LRAP donors) would save if they decided to marry the program to IBR. Or instead the same money could be used to make for a more generous LRAP program (by being able to increase income ceiling or by paying a giant portion of IBR-adjusted loans) that would actually make just-out-of-school life a lot easier.
I'm not totally clear whether Davis LRAP-assisted payments would qualify for IBR's 120-payment forgiveness program. Meaning, if you did Davis LRAP for 5 years, then ditched it for whatever reason, would those 5 years count toward your 10-year forgiveness eligibility -- you know, if case you remained in PI/govt or returned later or whatever? I want to say DavisFinAid said that the LRAP payments do count, but now I can't remember and in any case I didn't seek clarification.
Of course, if you went to Davis, you'd probably be a fool not to do LRAP: your monthly payment amounts with LRAP or IBR would be roughly equal. And, who knows, maybe it would be nice to bail on the public sector after a few years and have a bunch of your debt taken out of the equation?
But if you are 100% certain on at least 10 years in PI/govt, it will likely be much better/easier for you if you find an LRAP that knocks down your IBR-adjusted monthly payment. This can make a significant impact on your day-to-day while not effing you up in terms of overall debt (b/c you plan to get that 10-year forgiveness).
This all makes me pretty sad and lots conflicted. I still haven't heard from Hastings about its fund availability and whether my interpretation of its PICAP is correct. But if it is ... shit fire and save matches! If I got off WL, I'd have to compare post-grad life with IBR + LRAP (a fraction of a fraction of standard 10-year payment) vs. post-grad life with an LRAP (a fraction of standard 10-year payment). Dammit.
Moral of the story: Study harder for the LSAT, get big scholarship.
(NOTE: Bless DavisFinAid for diligently trying to reach me after my e-mailed inquiry and promptly answering all my questions. Also, I'm now way outed if anybody in that office lurks these boards. I assume no one from FinAid does. But just in case ... Um ...earlier in the cycle season, when stress was running high and the anticipation was proving too much to bear, I may have made on TLS a harshly worded, anatomically impossible suggestion to the admin folks at Davis. Please do not try to follow said suggestion. Or hold it against me.)