Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Many Loyola College of Law graduates devote their careers to public service work as advocates for traditionally underserved communities. Given a significant law school debt burden, such careers might not be feasible without some form of assistance. Since 1991, the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) has tried to address this problem and remains committed to furthering its goal of providing quality legal assistance to communities across the country.
Graduates employed as full-time attorneys in government or non-profit positions may apply for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Employment in private law firms does not qualify under program guidelines. The Center distributes applications each August with a deadline in mid-September.
The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support from John and June Makdisi and the Louisiana Bar Foundation Kendall Vick Public Law Fund. Using all sources of funding, since 1991, the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center granted over 900 awards totaling more than 3 million dollars.
LRAP assistance is not available for periods of unemployment or volunteer employment. LRAP is also not available for loans from family and friends, for personal loans from banks or other sources. Although LRAP includes undergraduate loans, it does not include loans for other graduate school debt.
There is no retroactive LRAP assistance and no LRAP assistance for periods of loan forbearance or deferment. In order to be, and remain, eligible for LRAP, graduates must provide proof of good standing from the servicers of all applicable loans, including undergraduate/joint degree loans, and may not have an outstanding term bill balance with Loyola University. LRAP assistance is solely and specifically intended to be used to repay eligible education loans. Graduates may apply yearly as long as they remain in an approved program job position.
LRAP is available for Loyola College of Law J.D. Program graduates who work full-time as attorneys in government or nonprofit jobs throughout the United States. Employment in private law firms does not qualify under the program guidelines. Applicants are eligible to apply for a loan immediately upon accepting a qualifying position unless awards have already been finalized for the current year. In that event, the request for assistance would be delayed until the following August. Students and alumni who are unsure if their planned employment will meet program criteria should consult the Gillis Long office.
The Gillis Long LRAP program has a current salary ceiling of $62,000.00. Salary information is requested for the applicant’s spouse, but, at present, is not used in determining the LRAP award.
Applications are posted to the website annually in August. Applicants may reapply each year while in a qualifying position.
The LRAP application requests the following information:
- Part I: Contact Information
- Part II: Employment and Income Information
- Start date, annual salary, and effective date of annual salary and spouse’s annual salary.
- Additional income information (other taxable, untaxed income, etc.)
- Part III: Asset Information
- Amount of cash or savings (broken down by participant, spouse, and jointly held)
- Home value, investments, etc.
- Other loan repayment assistance amounts received
- Part IV: Loan Verification
- Current balance and required monthly payment amounts for all servicers (documentation must include the monthly payment amount, current amount due as well as past due amounts, and the outstanding loan balance)
- Spouse's current loan balances and required monthly loan payments.
- Forbearance and/or deferment information.
- Part V: Information Certification Form
- Part VI: Employer Certification Form
- Part VII: Signature Page for applicants and spouses
No application will be reviewed until all requested information is received.
It is the participant’s responsibility to report any change in employment, address, income, or other financial circumstances promptly to the Gillis Long office.
Under program guidelines, in addition to the Employer Certification Form(s), a letter from the employer is required by September 1st following receipt of an award confirming the applicant’s employment for the previous year. If the employer letter is not received, your grant will be reported to IRS as income and will be taxed.
The associate director, Christina Luwisch, administers the program for the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center. Each application is reviewed for program requirements and presented to the LRAP Committee. The Committee is comprised of law faculty members, the Director and the Associate Director. This Committee reviews and approves the awards.
Awards vary each fiscal year dependent on the number of applicants and the available funds in the budget.
LRAP assistance is not considered taxable income if the participant works for a government agency or a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (specifically legal services) and receives the repayment assistance in the form of a loan. For this reason, recipients of non-taxable LRAP awards must sign a promissory note for the amount of any LRAP assistance. These loans are then forgiven in the following year provided the graduate has complied with the rules of the program.
The LRAP promissory notes are voided and returned to the graduate.
On September 1 of each year, recipients must forward a letter (on office letterhead) from the employer confirming employment for the previous year.