Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program I (PILRAP-I) - For Graduates from the Class of 2007 and Before

Eligibility for PILRAP-I

To be eligible* to participate in the PILRAP-I, graduates must:

  1. Apply within the eligible time frame;
  2. Work in qualifying employment; and
  3. Satisfy income requirements.
        1. Eligible Time Frame. Graduates are eligible for the program at any time within three years after the January following their graduation. Judicial clerkships are not qualifying employment for the purposes of PILRAP; however, the three year restriction on eligibility after graduation will be tolled for purposes of pursing clerkships. Once a graduate has entered the program, he or she must continue to reapply each year to receive benefits (or be on a leave of absence/in inactive status - please see the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about leaves of absence and inactive status). Graduates who have applied for the program within 3 years of graduation can then continue to apply for annual funding until they no longer require loan repayment assistance.
        2. Qualifying Employment. The graduate's work must meet all of the following requirements to qualify for PILRAP:
          • Full-time. In general, this means that the graduate must be working at least an annual average of 30 hours per week. To learn more, please read the Frequently Asked Questions.
          • Law-related. This requirement encompasses a wide variety of legal work and is not limited to the practice of law in its strictest sense. Nevertheless, the employment should substantially use the legal training and skills of the graduate.
          • Public Interest. The work must satisfy one of the following criteria to be considered "public interest employment":
            • Non-profit - work for an organization qualifying for tax exemption under IRS Code Sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(5); or
            • Government - work for a local, state or federal government agency or office (excluding judicial clerkships).
          • Non Discrimination Policy. Employer must comply with WCL's non-discrimination policy.
        • Income Eligibility. The maximum annual salary allowable to enter PILRAP-I is $50,000. For married applicants the applicant's annual salary will be considered to be the greater of the following two values: the applicant's salary, or half of the total family salary.

        *Eligibility does not guarantee program participation


Qualifying Loans


  • Law school loans
  • Undergrad loans for WCL graduates who entered law school prior to Fall 2006
  • Institutionally approved and certified loans
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized)
  • FFEL Program Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Graduate Plus Loans
  • Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
  • National Direct Student Loans or Federal Perkins Loans
  • Private loans such as LawLoans, Law Access, school loans, and other long-term law school & undergraduate loans
  • Non-Qualifying Loans: Bar loans, family or personal loans, WCL emergency loans, or loans for other than educational purposes
  • All eligible loans must be in satisfactory repayment status (delinquent loans are not eligible for PILRAP)

Loan Disbursement Formula

In calculating the loan amount under this program, the Financial Aid Office will assume that all student loans have been consolidated and are repaid at a 5% interest rate over 20 years. Graduates are not required to consolidate their loans, but this is the formula the Financial Aid Office will use in calculating its disbursements.

A. Factors In Calculating Disbursements.

  1. Participants will be expected to contribute a portion of their adjusted gross income (AGI) to their annual educational loan repayment obligations in accordance with the chart below.

    1. Annual Income     Portion of Income Participants Must Contribute
      $31,000 or less 0%
      $31,001 - $37,000 30% of amount over $31,000
      $37,001 - $50,000 $1800 + 60% of the amount over $37,000


      For example, at a salary of $31,000 the participant has no required contribution toward his/her annual loan repayment; at a salary of $32,000 the participant's expected contribution is $1200; at a salary of $40,000 the participant's expected contribution is $3,600.

      The amount of the LRAP loan made to the participants will be the difference between the eligible debt repayment obligation and the expected contribution. For example, if the participant earns $40,000 and has $12,000 in annual educational loan debt, he or she will receive a PILRAP loan in the amount of $8,400 ($12,000 - $3,600 = $8,400).

  2. Deductions. For applicants with dependent children, $5,000 per child will be subtracted from AGI. Single parents will receive an additional $5,000 deduction.

  3. Assets. A portion of the graduate's assets (in general, 10% of the participant's equity in assets over $5,000 not including the graduate's home and retirement) will be added to income.

  4. Qualifying Loans. Qualifying loans are limited to law school loans when determining the graduate's educational loan repayment obligation.* Educational loans will include institutionally approved and certified loans such as Federal (FFEL/Direct) Stafford, subsidized and unsubsidized; GradPlus loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS), National Direct Student Loans or Perkins, as well as Private loans such as, LawLoans, Law Access, school loans, and other long-term law school loans. Family or personal loans, Bar loans, WCL emergency loans, or loans for other than educational purposes will not be included in determining the graduate's annual loan burden. All qualifying loans must be in satisfactory repayment status. Graduates with delinquent loans may not apply for PILRAP.

*Undergraduate loans will be included for applicants who entered law school prior to 2006.

NOTE: PILRAP loans are dependent on the availability of funds. There is no guarantee that participants will receive, in whole or part, their eligible amount of funds.


Loan Forgiveness & Loan Repayment to WCL

 

Loan Forgiveness

The money given to program participants is in the form of a loan, which is then forgiven at the end of the calendar year. Participants must work in qualifying employment for the calendar year covered by the PILRAP Award to obtain forgiveness for the award.

Loan Repayment

If the recipient works for less than one year in qualifying employment, then he or she must inform the Financial Aid Office within thirty (30) days of the change in employment. The recipient must then repay the portion of the award that corresponds to any period of time during the year in which the recipient did not maintain qualifying employment. The repayment must be made within that same year.


PILRAP Award Disbursement

PILRAP funds will be disbursed in January and June each year. The first half of the PILRAP loan will be disbursed upon the graduate's acceptance into the Program. To receive the second half of the annual disbursement, participants must file a mid-year employment verification form completed by their employer as well as proof of having made loan re-payments during the first half of the year. The verification forms are due by May 15th.


Participation in Other LRAP Programs

Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of any other LRAP programs (such as state, federal, or employer LRAPs). Application and receipt of other LRAP awards must be disclosed on the PILRAP application and may be considered by the Financial Aid Office. More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.


Application

Graduates must apply each year for funds for the following year. The application for 2014 is now available and is due on October 1, 2013.


Contact Information

For more information about the Program, please contact:

David Steib, Esq.
Assistant Director, Office of Public Interest
dsteib@wcl.american.edu