UW's Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

The University of Wisconsin Law School sponsors a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), which provides small grants to students who accept permanent public interest jobs after graduation. Since its inception in 2002, the LRAP has generally provided assistance with loan repayment in the form of a lump sum payment to alumni who are in a “qualifying position” by March 15th after the year they graduate.  (The size of the award may vary depending upon the applicant pool and the applicants' debt obligations.) “Qualifying position” means a legal position at a nonprofit organization or government agency with a specified maximum annual salary.

Specific requirements for and information about LRAP will circulated to graduates around the time of May commencement. If you have any questions regarding the LRAP or its application process, please contact Associate Dean Emily Kite.

State LRAPs

Created and administered by bar associations, bar foundations, independent non-profit organizations and state education administrations, 24 states offer loan repayment assistance programs. You can find comprehensive state LRAP information on the ABA's website.

Federal Agency LRAPs

In an effort to ease the financial burdens facing new attorneys working in public interest positions, some public interest employers establish loan repayment assistance programs for their employees.

Participating agencies determine their own program requirements within the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 5379 which states:

Important Acts

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness: The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007

In 2007, President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), which provides loan forgiveness for graduates who work in the public sector and make timely loan payments for 10 years. For more information on the CCRAA, please visit the Equal Justice Works' Student Debt page.

Higher Education Reauthorization & College Opportunity Act of 2008

On August 14, 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 4137, now P.L. 110-315 – The Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008. Although funds are authorized for each program, Congress will now have to make appropriations to fund these programs.

The Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008 establishes four new loan forgiveness and repayment programs that benefit public interest lawyers. They are:

View more information on both programs via the Equal Justice Works' ebook: How to Manage Your Student Debt While Pursuing a Public Interest Legal Career (PDF).

Rules will be established by the federal agencies responsible for administering these programs. Read the full text of H.R. 4137.

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