Student Debt Resource

13: Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

/ Student Debt E-book

 Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs) are a powerful tool to help you manage repayment of your educational debt. These programs help you to make payments on your educational loans and are available from a variety of sources, including schools, employers, states, and the federal government. 

How do Loan Repayment Assistance Programs work? 

LRAPs differ from repayment plans like the REPAYE, IBR, PAYE, and ICR plans. They are also different from loan forgiveness programs like PSLF. Rather than lowering your payment amount or providing forgiveness of your educational loans in the future, LRAPs provide funds now to help make payments on your loans. 

LRAP funds can help to pay down a private educational loan, which are never eligible for federal relief programs. It also may be possible to use LRAPs in conjunction with some federal relief programs. 

For example, if you are working in qualifying employment for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and enrolled in an income-based repayment (IBR) plan to receive lower income-based payments on your Federal Direct Loans. If you qualify for an LRAP, these funds may cover your income-based monthly payments in their entirety until you make 120 of them and the government grants you forgiveness! 

LRAPs also are an important tool to help borrowers who may not benefit from income-driven repayment (IDR) plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). For example, more experienced public service workers who graduated before 2007 often fit into this category because they may have high private loan debt or have already spent years in repayment. LRAPs can provide an important form of relief for these borrowers. 

Who provides LRAP assistance? 

LRAPs may be available from schools, employers, states, and the federal government. You’ll need to do some research, but you may have an LRAP available to you. 

Employer-Based LRAPs 

Many public sector employers now offer Loan Repayment Assistance Programs to their employees. Check with any current or future employers to ensure that you are taking full advantage of any LRAP programs that are available to you. 

School-Based LRAPs 

School-based Loan Repayment Assistance Programs provide financial aid to graduates who have educational debt and take low-paying jobs. Most programs are designed with the goal of enabling graduates to enter public interest and government work. A graduate of a school with a Loan Repayment Assistance Program can apply for and receive funds from the program to help with repayment of educational loans. 

The following law schools have LRAPS (as of November 2021): 

Albany Law School 
Baylor University Law School 
Beasley School of Law, Temple University 
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University 
Boston College Law School 
Boston University School of Law 
Brooklyn Law School 
California Western School of Law 
Capital University School of Law 
Case Western Reserve University School of Law 
Charleston School of Law 
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology 
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State 
Columbia University Law School 
Cornell Law School 
Creighton University School of Law 
DePaul University College of Law 
Drexel University School of Law 
Duke University School of Law 
Duquesne University School of Law  
Elon University School of Law  
Emory University School of Law 
Fordham University School of Law 
George Washington University Law School 
Georgetown University Law Center 
Golden Gate University School of Law 
Gonzaga University School of Law 
Gould School of Law, University of Southern California 
Harvard Law School 
Hofstra University School of Law 
Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law 
John Marshall Law School 
Lewis & Clark Law School 
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville 
Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Law School Los Angeles 
Loyola University Chicago School of Law 
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law 
Marquette University Law School 
Marshall-Wythe School of Law, The College of William and Mary 
McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific 
Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University 
Mississippi College School of Law 
New York University School of Law 
Northeastern University School of Law 
Northwestern University School of Law 
Notre Dame Law School 
Penn State Dickinson Law, Pennsylvania State University 
Penn State Law, Pennsylvania State University 
Pepperdine University School of Law 
Quinnipiac University School of Law 
Regent University School of Law 
Roger Williams University School of Law 
Rutgers School of Law 
Seattle University School of Law 
Seton Hall University School of Law 
South Texas College of Law Houston 
Southern University Law Center 
St. John’s University School of Law 
St. Thomas University School of Law, Florida 
St. Thomas University School of Law, Minnesota 
Stanford Law School 
Sturm College of Law, University of Denver 
Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 
Tulane University School of Law 
University of California, Berkeley School of Law 
University of California, Davis School of Law 
University of California, Hastings College of Law 
University of California, Irvine School of Law  
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law 
University of Chicago Law School 
University of Colorado School of Law 
University of Georgia School of Law  
University of Illinois College of Law 
University of Maine School of Law 
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law 
University of Michigan Law School 
University of New Hampshire School of Law 
University of North Carolina School of Law 
University of Oregon School of Law  
University of Pennsylvania Law School 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law 
University of San Diego School of Law 
University of San Francisco School of Law 
University of Tennessee College of Law 
University of Texas School of Law 
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law 
University of Virginia School of Law  
University of Washington School of Law 
University of Wisconsin Law School 
Valparaiso University School of Law 
Vanderbilt University Law School 
Vermont Law School  
Villanova University School of Law 
Wake Forest Law 
Washington and Lee University School of Law 
Washington College of Law, American University 
Washington University 
Widener University Commonwealth Law School  
Widener University School of Law, Delaware Campus 
Yale Law School 
State-Based LRAPs 

Some states also offer LRAPs that can ease the burden of educational debt. State-based LRAPs may be created and administered by state education administrations, independent nonprofit organizations, and professional associations or foundations. Some municipalities also have begun to offer LRAPs to graduates as an incentive to relocate to and work in a specific area. 

The following states have LRAPS (as of May 2021): 

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Federal Government LRAPs 

Federal law allows any federal agency to start an LRAP for employees of that agency. Federal agencies are authorized by statute to set up Loan Repayment Assistance Programs to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a Student Loan Repayment Program Fact Sheet. 

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

  • Agencies are authorized to provide up to $10,000 per calendar year with a lifetime limit of $60,000. 
  • Recipients of loan repayment assistance must agree to a three-year service obligation. 
  • Only federal student loans are eligible for assistance.

Eligible loans include: 

  • Federal Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) 
  • Federal Direct and FFEL PLUS Loans 
  • Federal Direct and FFEL Consolidation Loans 
  • Federal Perkins Loans: National Defense Student Loans, National Direct Student Loans, Perkins Loans 
  • Public Health Service Act Loans: Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS), Primary Care Loans (PCL), Nursing Student Loans (NSL), Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) submits annual reports to Congress on federal agencies’ Loan Repayment Assistance Programs including: 

  • The number of employees who received student loan repayment benefits; 
  • The job classifications of the employees who received student loan repayment benefits; and 
  • The cost to the federal government of providing student loan repayment benefits. 

As of the 2018 OPM report, the following federal agencies/departments have LRAPS: 

  • Department of Commerce 
  • Department of Defense 
  • Department of Agriculture 
  • Department of Education 
  • Department of Energy 
  • Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Department of Homeland Security 
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development 
  • Department of the Interior 
  • Department of Justice 
  • Department of Labor 
  • Department of State 
  • Department of Transportation 
  • Department of Treasury 
  • Department of Veteran Affairs 
  • Agency for International Development 
  • Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission 
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 
  • Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board 
  • Export-Import Bank 
  • Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Farm Credit Administration 
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
  • Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board 
  • Federal Trade Commission 
  • General Services Administration 
  • Government Accountability Office 
  • Institute of Museum and Library Studies 
  • Library of Congress 
  • National Archives and Records Administration 
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
  • Office of Personnel Management 
  • Office of Special Counsel 
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 
  • Postal Regulatory Commission 
  • Securities and Exchange Commission