LRAP: Boston College Law School

Published October 2010, last updated March 2012

Loan Repayment Assistance Program

How It Works
The Boston College Law School Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment Assistance Program helps BC grads pursue low-paying public interest careers by granting secondary loans to pay back law school debt. These loans are forgiven each year as long as the lawyer stays in a qualifying position. However, award recipients and the amount of their award distribution are determined annually, and these determinations are based on:

· The funds available to the Committee;
· The number of qualified LRAP applicants;
· The type of employment;
· The relationship of each applicant's salary to educational debt;
· All information contained on the application form and supporting documents.

As a result, award amounts can vary significantly from year to year. Current students report that funding for the program has been limited in recent years.

Eligible Jobs
Graduates must work full-time legal jobs to be eligible for LRAP loans (part-time employment will be considered on a pro-rated basis if funding allows). In addition, they must work for a public interest organization: a direct legal services organization for disadvantaged groups, tax-exempt non-profit organization, a government agency, or the like. Unlike many programs, BC’s LRAP will consider graduates in part-time jobs, on a pro-rated basis.

The income cap for first-time applicants is $60,500. Accepted participants can no longer stay in the program if their incomes rise above $65,000. Clerkships and academic fellowships do not qualify. Graduates must apply for LRAP benefits within five years of their graduation.

Eligible Debt
Only law school educational debt is eligible for repayment assistance, although other educational debt may be a consideration in determining ability to repay debt. Graduates may be expected to consolidate all of their loans for the maximum period of time possible, so the program will be most beneficial for those with a strong commitment to public interest.

Calculation of Expected Participant Contribution
BC does not publish a formula for determining levels of aid, and awards may vary by year with demand and funding. Grants are based on graduates’ debt-to-salary ratios and other relevant financial criteria. According to the school’s website, yearly awards have ranged from $500 to $7,000; assistance seems to be capped at 60% of a participant’s debt obligation.

Final Notes on the Boston College Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program
BC will not forgive the entirety of a low-earning graduate’s yearly debt obligation, like nearby law school giant Harvard and other top-tier schools might, but it will give much-needed help to graduates in qualifying employment. Prospective students who want more information should contact the school’s financial aid office.