Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Notre Dame Law School is proud to have a generous Loan Repayment Assistance Program to help J.D. graduates who are beginning legal careers in public interest and public service.
LRAP is designed to ensure that J.D. graduates with law school loans are financially able to work in the nonprofit sector, government, policy advocacy, human rights, and other fields where lawyers make valuable contributions but are often paid lower salaries. Notre Dame has a history of encouraging its graduates to use their education for the public good – it’s a responsibility that flows directly from the University’s Catholic mission.
Under LRAP, the Law School loans its J.D. graduates money to help them repay qualifying educational loans from law school. LRAP then forgives those loans over a period of time. Since the Law School created the program in 2001, it has disbursed more than $2 million to graduates who have worked in a wide variety public interest and public service positions in the United States and abroad.
Parameters of the 2019 program
Any J.D. graduate of Notre Dame Law School who expects to earn an LRAP Adjusted Salary under $70,000 can apply for LRAP assistance for the following calendar year. Your LRAP Adjusted Salary is your gross salary less adjustments for children and non-law school loan payments.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is $55,000 or less, the Law School will provide the graduate with a loan to cover 100% of the graduate’s actual payments on eligible J.D. loans.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is between $55,000 and $70,000, the Law School will provide an LRAP loan on a sliding scale to cover a portion of the graduate’s payments on eligible loans.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is $70,000 or greater, the graduate is ineligible for the LRAP program.
The 2019 cap on annual benefits will be $15,000 per participant.
Eligible graduates may receive loan repayment assistance for a maximum of 10 calendar years, no longer limited to being the first 10 years after graduation.
One-time benefits calculation
At the beginning of the year, a fixed benefit amount will be determined for each participant. Unlike past years, this amount will not be adjusted due to changes in circumstances such as salary or loan payments (as long as the graduate remains in qualifying employment for the entire calendar year). Participants will know up front exactly how much assistance they’ll receive that year, and will no longer need to send updates on changing financial circumstances to the LRAP coordinator.
Reporting requirements have been reduced to once per year. Participants will simply need to demonstrate in January of 2020 that they made payments in 2019 to their law school loan servicer equal to or greater than their total LRAP benefits, and that they were employed in a qualifying position through the end of December.
For those seeking employment
Those seeking qualifying employment can receive LRAP assistance if they submit Part I of their LRAP application by November 1 and find qualifying employment by March 1 of 2019.
Free resource for loan financing advice, AccessLex
Notre Dame Law School has contracted with AccessLex, a major nonprofit organization that provides free financial education resources to students and alumni. Alumni with questions on loan financing are encouraged to contact AccessConnex, a free student (and graduate) loan helpline.
- Telephone: 1-844-755 HELP
- Online chat: AccessLex.org/access-connex
- Email: AccessConnex@accesslex.org
New web-based application process
Applicants will be able to upload their application and documentation through a new web-based platform, which will also serve as a repository for future years. More information and the link to this platform will be posted on the website by early October 2018.
The application deadline for 2019 LRAP benefits is November 1, 2018.
Watch for additional posting of these items by early October:
- LRAP Program Description for 2019
- LRAP Detailed Requirements & Disclosures for 2019
- LRAP Application for 2019 (due November 1, 2018)