USC Gould School of Law students have more reason to consider careers in public service or government thanks to a revamping of the school's loan repayment assistance program. The changes implemented this year make the program more generous and available to a larger number of graduates. The program now allows graduates with nonprofit and government jobs who earn more than $55,000 to participate in the program, while those who earn less may keep more of their money.
(Media-Newswire.com) - USC Gould School of Law students have more reason to consider careers in public service or government thanks to a revamping of the school’s loan repayment assistance program.
The changes implemented this year make the program more generous and available to a larger number of graduates. The program now allows graduates with nonprofit and government jobs who earn more than $55,000 to participate in the program, while those who earn less may keep more of their money.
“We have made several changes to increase the participation level because we want to encourage students to consider their options – all options, including the nonprofit and government sectors,” said Mary Bingham, director of financial aid.
Under USC Law’s assistance program, created in 1987, qualifying graduates are expected to apply a percentage of their earnings to their annual obligations for educational loan repayments, while USC Law makes a loan for the remainder of those obligations. If a graduate continues to work in qualifying employment for five years, his or her entire assistance program loan will be forgiven.
This year’s major change is the elimination of the salary cap. In past years, any graduate who earned more than $55,000 could not qualify for the program. With the cap eliminated, graduates with significant educational debt and salaries greater than $55,000 may qualify for assistance. In addition, even if graduates reach an income level where they can no longer borrow from the school, they can continue to earn time for loan forgiveness.
The formula for expected contribution by graduates also was simplified by eliminating a seniority allowance and a cost-of-living distinction.
“We have based the program off a higher cost of living because we found that virtually all of our participants were in high-cost-of-living areas,” Bingham said.
Another significant enhancement is that graduates who earn $40,000 or less will not be expected to contribute toward their monthly loan payments. Loan repayment assistance will cover 100 percent of their loan payments.
Law school administrators hope to see more participation in the program, and they encourage graduates who aren’t sure they qualify to ask.
“We’re always willing to consider requests for exceptions or to be as flexible as we can be within the constraints of the funding we have available and within the constraints of what we’re trying to achieve,” Bingham said.
For full details and to apply to the program, locate the loan repayment assistance program on the Quick Links drop-down menu on the USC Law home page. Information and application packets also are available in Rm. 104 of the Musick Law Building.
The loan assistance year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 and a new application for assistance is required each year. Applications are now being accepted for 2008-09.
This story was released on 2008-09-24. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.