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Update Forgives Loans for Eligible Law Alumni

November 13, 2009 – Georgetown’s Law Center faculty approved a plan that will enable graduates working in the public sector for 10 years -- and earning up to $75,000 a year -- to have all of their law school loans forgiven.

The new version of the Law Center’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program dovetails with the federal government’s new public service loan forgiveness program, which is a part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act that became fully effective this year.

“Many of our graduates work in federal, state or local governments or in nonprofit organizations that serve the public through work in public health, education, environmental protection, criminal defense, human rights and many other areas of need,” said Law Center Dean Alexander Aleinikoff. “Our new loan forgiveness program, together with the federal plan, will enable them to pursue long-term careers in these fields without becoming burdened by student loan repayment.”

As a result of the two programs, Law Center students who work for U.S.-based government agencies or nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations for 10 years after graduation in a legally related capacity, and whose incomes remain less than $75,000, can borrow the entire cost of attending law school in the form of federally-guaranteed loans.

Georgetown will reimburse all of their loan repayments, and the remaining principal balance forgiven by the federal government. The Law Center’s benefits would continue on a diminishing basis for incomes exceeding $75,000.

Under the new federal law, federally guaranteed loans may be repaid after graduation through a new income-based repayment plan that generally limits repayment to approximately 10 percent of the borrower’s annual income. At the end of 10 years of public service, the federal government will forgive the remaining balance.

The law faculty decided on Nov. 11 that the Law Center will reimburse out-of-pocket repayments for its eligible graduates in public service. Current students and those entering next year will receive the full benefit of this plan.

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