Program Guidelines

The guidelines below are for graduates of the J.D. Classes of Pre-2007. For J.D. Graduates from subsequent classes, please refer to the either the appropriate LRAP Application: J.D. Classes of 2007-2010 or J.D. Classes of 2011 and Beyond.

Program Overview
Qualifying Employment
MAGI and the Asset Cap
Determination of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
Eligible Loans
Length of Program Participation
Period of Initial Eligibility
Loan Repayment Terms (Calculation of Program Assistance)
Application Procedure
Limited Funds Contingency and Right to Modify
Coordination with Other Programs

Program Overview

Members of the Class of 1992 and subsequent graduating classes through the Class of 2006 are eligible to apply for loan assistance for any year in which they are engaged in qualifying public interest legal work, although the initial application for assistance must be made within three years of graduation. Applicants who meet the income and asset tests for eligibility may receive loan assistance payments. Payments will be in the form of interest-free loans from UCLA which must be used to make payments on previously incurred educational loans. Assistance amounts will vary depending on the applicant's income and on total educational loans up to a maximum of $90,000.

LRAP loans will be granted for the current period, assisting participants with all qualified law school loan payments for that period. At the end of the period, the LRAP loan will be forgiven (canceled) when the participant demonstrates that he or she has met the employment and income requirements and made all the qualified educational loan payments.

UCLA J.D. graduates who have outstanding charges on their BAR account are not eligible to apply for LRAP funds until balance owed is paid in full. Graduates in arrears on student loan payments are not eligible to participate in LRAP until all accounts are brought to a "current" status.

Qualifying Employment

To be eligible for LRAP, an applicant must work in qualifying employment.  Only loan repayments made while participants work in qualifying employment will be eligible for assistance with an LRAP loan and subsequent cancelation.  Qualifying employment is defined as a full-time permanent paid work and includes the following:

(a)  A nonprofit organization or an agency of government in law-related employment that makes substantial use of legal skills, for example, by requiring passage of the bar or otherwise drawing heavily on law school training. 
(b)  Employment in non-tenure track law school clinical instructor positions requiring substantial case supervision.
(c)  Positions with international NGO's that meet the above requirements.
(d)  Positions with an agency of a foreign government will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
(e)  Career clerkships that last longer than two years.
(f)   Fellowships with a private public interest law firm will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Judicial clerkships intended to last two years or less do not qualify. Positions in private firms other than fellowship as in (f) above are also not qualifying.

Graduates who are permanently employed less than full-time (but greater than half time) in positions that otherwise meet the above definition may still qualify for assistance by demonstrating that they are actively seeking full-time work.

MAGI and the Asset Cap

An applicant's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) will be determined according to the Determination of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (section below), using the appropriate geographically determined "Fair Market Rent" for one bedroom apartments published by HUD in the year prior to the application period. An applicant's appropriate geographical area will be the location of his or her qualifying employment at the time of application.

Beginning with a participant's 3rd year of participation in the LRAP the Contribution Point of $40,000 will be increased by $1,000 per year (e.g., a person who is in his third year of participating in our LRAP will have a Contribution Point of $41,000 in 2010; a 4th year participant will have a Contribution Point of $42,000, etc.).

Each applicant is allowed to accumulate $10,000 per year of assets (exclusive of retirement funds and home equity) without those assets affecting eligibility for LRAP loans, as well as the amount of the loans. A married participant is allowed to accumulate $20,000 per year of assets (exclusive of retirement funds and home equity). Any funds over these amounts will constitute income for the purposes of determining LRAP eligibility and a participant's required contribution.

Determination of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

For purposes of determining whether an applicant's income exceeds the maximum allowable income and for purposes of determining the applicant's portion of annual loan payments (see Loan Assistance section below), the applicant's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) will be determined as follows:

  1. Applicant's Income. The applicant will estimate his or her annualized adjusted gross income for the assistance year, as defined for Federal income tax purposes, based on information available at the time of the application.
  2. Spouse's Income. In determining MAGI, a married applicant will be treated as having the higher of (a) his or her individual adjusted gross income, or (b) half of the joint adjusted gross income of both spouses. The spouse's required educational loan payments will be deducted before determining his or her adjusted gross income.
  3. Dependents Allowance. An applicant with dependent children, as determined under federal income tax guidelines, will receive a credit in the form of a downward adjustment of his or her adjusted gross income, by $6,000 for one dependent child and by $4,000 for each additional dependent child.
  4. Cost of Living Adjustment. Solely for purposes of determining the applicant's portion of the loan payments under the Loan Assistance Schedule set forth in the Loan Assistance (Calculation of Program Assistance) section below, an applicant will make a cost of living adjustment to his or her MAGI. That cost of living adjustment will consist of the difference between the HUD annual rent figure for Los Angeles and the annual rental figure for the area in which the applicant's qualifying employment is located. If the applicant's relevant annual rental figure is less than the annual Los Angeles figure, the difference will be added to the applicant's MAGI. If the applicant's relevant annual rental figure exceeds the Los Angeles figure, the difference, but not in excess of 10 percent of the Los Angeles figure, will be subtracted from the applicant's MAGI.
  5. Applicant and Spouse Both Eligible for Assistance. In the case in which the applicant and his/her spouse are both eligible for assistance, the income for each will be calculated as half of the couple's combined income, UCLA Law educational loan repayments will not be deducted from the spouse's income, each may deduct half of the dependent allowance, and each may take the full asset exclusion.

Eligible Loans

LRAP will assist with repayments made on the principal and capitalized interest of federal and private educational loans borrowed for the law school study, provided that any loan amount borrowed in excess of the student budget as determined by the UCLA Law Financial Aid Office for any particular year will not be eligible for LRAP assistance.

The overall cap on principal and capitalized interest for all loans covered by LRAP shall be $90,000 (including bar study loans).

Federal student loans include subsidized Stafford, unsubsidized Stafford, Perkins and Graduate PLUS loans. Private and bar study student loans include those certified by the UCLA Law Financial Aid Office.

Length of Program Participation

The maximum length of LRAP participation is 10 years. This length of eligibility provides LRAP participants with financial support throughout the standard 10-year repayment plan.

Period of Initial Eligibility

Graduates seeking to participate in LRAP must begin participating in the Program within three years after the end of their loan grace period, which normally ends six months after graduation.

Loan Assistance (Calculation of Program Assistance)

Once an applicant is determined to be eligible for assistance, assistance under LRAP will be calculated based on the applicant's MAGI and the applicant's total eligible loans for the assistance period in question, up to a maximum of $90,000. Applicants may be required to pay a certain percentage of their loan payments themselves, and the Program will provide a loan equal to the remaining loan payments (on loans up to $90,000).

The assistance amount for each applicant will be determined by applying the formula set forth in Table 1 below to determine the applicant's portion of the total loan payments (calculated assuming a ten-year amortization) to be made on an applicant's qualifying loan amount for the assistance period in question. The assistance amount will equal the total loan payments on an applicant's qualifying loan amount for the assistance period less the applicant's portion of the loan payments.

Payments made in excess of those due under a 10-year repayment schedule are not eligible for assistance. Though the Program will cover payments made on an amortization basis greater than 10 years, LRAP loans will be forgiven to a maximum of the actual loan payments made. Participants cannot apply for a LRAP loan based on a 10-year repayment schedule, make actual payments of less than that, and expect the entire LRAP loan to be forgiven.

An applicant's MAGI for the purposes of applying Table 1 will include the cost of living adjustment determined under the above section - Determination of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI), Section 4.

Table 1 - Yielding Applicant Portion of Loan Repayment

MAGI Amount Annual Applicant Portion
$0 - $40,000 Zero
Over $40,000 35% of MAGI over $40,000

Application Procedure

Application forms are available from the UCLA Law website or the UCLA Law Financial Aid Office. Applications must include all pertinent information regarding loans, employment and income. If the applicant secures a qualifying job after the application deadline date, s/he can apply for assistance after that date, up to one month after the beginning of his/her employment.

Approved applicants will be notified and sent a Promissory Note and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Loan disbursements will not occur until the Promissory Note and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities are completed and returned to the UCLA Law Financial Aid Office. Loan forgiveness will not occur until an application has been reviewed and approved.

Participants will be notified if they qualify for loan forgiveness. Please refer to the LRAP homepage for information regarding application dates and deadlines.

Limited Funds Contingency and Right to Modify

In the event that funding is not sufficient to fully fund all qualified applicants in the manner anticipated above, UCLA Law will select LRAP recipients and determine award levels; available funds may be disbursed pro rata, or awards may be adjusted on an individual basis considering salary and total loan indebtedness.

Coordination with Other Programs

Applicants are expected to take advantage of all other loan repayment assistance or forgiveness programs for which they qualify. LRAP assistance will be awarded only if there is remaining eligibility after assistance from other such programs has been exhausted. Applicants must notify UCLA Law of other programs from which they are eligible to receive benefits. UCLA Law reserves the right to review and revise this LRAP as it deems appropriate.