General LRAP Information
How will the reduced funding due to California's budget crisis affect LRAP?
Our LRAP is funded primarily by the Professional Degree Fee and is not dependent on state funding.
I am a newly admitted student. Will LRAP still be around by the time I graduate?
Absolutely, Berkeley Law is committed to supporting its public interest graduates.
Can I voluntarily waive the grace periods for my loans and begin my loan payments and LRAP participation?
No, LRAP coverage begins at the end of your grace period for federal loans, which is generally in January.
I secured employment with a private law firm and was offered a 1-year public interest deferred fellowship with a $50,000 stipend prior to the beginning of my employment. If my placement is considered LRAP qualifying employment, will I qualify for LRAP?
LRAP is designed to solely provide assistance to graduates who are pursuing public interest work or government employment as a career. Graduates receiving such deferred fellowships do not meet the LRAP qualifying employment requirement because they have not relinquished their employment with the firm that is providing the fellowship. The employment has been, deferred, but not terminated.
I was under the impression that the $100,000 student loan cap applied to the total principal only. Can you explain?
While in school your loans accrue interest and it is capitalized once you start repayment after the grace period. Your monthly payment amount is based on the total of your original disbursement and the capitalized interest. If you opted for the Standard LRAP track, you will receive support for monthly payments for up to $100,000 in student loans including capitalized interest.
I noticed on the website that the cap on principal and capitalized interest covered by the Standard track is $100k. Does that mean I will be responsible for making my own payments for the extra $50k I will owe, even if I am earning less than $65k/year?
Yes, that is correct. Graduates with student loan debt over $100,000 have the option to enroll into the IBR track. You may schedule a telephone appointment with the LRAP coordinator for a comparison analysis tailored to your specific situation.
Will LRAP pay my student loans directly?
No, after we receive your signed Promissory Note we will process a payment request and provide you with the funding of a LRAP loan for the repayment of your student loans for a 6-month period. You will receive the money either through the University's EFT system or as a paper check.
When can I expect my LRAP payment?
LRAP applications are processed in the order received. If we receive your application before the deadline, we make every effort to provide funds by early January for the Spring pay period and early July for Fall applications.
Is there any way to ensure that my LRAP payment is done through EFT?
Follow the EFT instructions for UC Berkeley vendors and contact UC Berkeley's Disbursements Office to check your status or for any questions. Click here for more information regarding LRAP/Bridge Payments and EFT.
I received a pay raise after I submitted my LRAP application and my new salary will push me over the $65,000 threshold, when and how much do I need to pay back?
Please send your updated salary information to firstname.lastname@example.org. When your cancellation application is being processed, the LRAP Coordinator will re-calculate your fund eligibility and notify you of the LRAP loan to be repaid. After all cancellations are processed, Billing and Payment Services will initiate the repayment process and make contact with you.
Does it matter when during the 6-month period I use the LRAP funds?
Yes, it does matter. In order to receive LRAP funds you must be enrolled in a repayment plan and make the regularly scheduled payments within that payment period.
My loans are currently in forbearance until I receive my LRAP loan, what repayment plan documentation do you need?
If your loans are in their grace period, deferment, or forbearance, you must provide us with documentation of your intended repayment plan. Once you start repayment, you must submit a loan term statement showing that your loans are in repayment and the repayment schedule.
I would prefer to pay off my private loans faster and use a portion of my federal loan LRAP funds towards my private loans. Is this acceptable?
No, LRAP guidelines mandate that you enroll in the repayment plan for which you receive funding and make regular payments accordingly. As of Spring 2010 we require the verification of your repayment plan.
Should I report gross or net income on my application?
Please provide us with your gross income.
When do I have to report address or income changes?
Please notify us of changes immediately and include the pay increase and date with your cancellation application.
Income Based Repayment
How do I switch my repayment plan to Income Based Repayment?
IBR application forms are available at https://www.dl.ed.gov/borrower/PDFFrames.jsp?PDF=othf_intgr_IBR8_pack.pdf.
According to Direct Loan Servicing an online processing option will not be available until March 2010. Currently applicants have to print, fill out and mail the completed forms and required documentation to:
U.S. Department of Education
Direct Loan Servicing Center
P.O. Box 5609
Greenville, TX 75403-5609
“Low Bono” and Union Coverage Pilot Program
What practice area qualifies for the “Low Bono” / Union LRAP Coverage?
The Union Coverage and “Low Bono” Pilot Program is designed to provide LRAP support for graduates either working for a union or a small plaintiff side firm that predominantly provides services to underrepresented members of society in the following practice areas:
- Civil and human rights law
- Criminal law
- Employment law
- Housing law
- Immigration law
The program is only available to graduates of the classes of 2010 and beyond.
How can I secure my participation in the “Low Bono” and Union Coverage Pilot Program?
We offer a preliminary eligibility review and request the following documentation:
- Offer letter
- Name and website of the firm
- The firm’s complete area of practice
- Fee structure (sliding scale / contingent fee) - Who is paying these fees?
- Who is being served? What is the approximate percentage of pro/low bono clients/services?
- What is your anticipated salary?
- A personal statement describing what brought you to public interest, your prior public service experience and what you see yourself doing over the next five years.
The first seven graduates of the class of 2010 are accepted as long as all employment requirements are met.
I am a graduate of the class of 2009 and just obtained an offer at a small plaintiff side firm specializing in employment discrimination. Will LRAP cover such a position?
No, the “Low Bono” and Union Coverage Pilot Program is available to up to seven graduates of the class of 2010 only.