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Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

President Bush Signs Bills Establishing Loan Repayment Programs

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:

  • The John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act
    Providing $10,000 per year in exchange for a one time renewable three-year commitment for state and local prosecutors and public defenders.
  • The Legal Assistance Loan Repayment Program
    Providing $6,000 per year in renewable three-year commitments to a maximum of $40,000 for civil legal assistance lawyers.
  • Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need
    Providing no more than $2,000 per year for five years for Public Sector Employees, including public interest legal services (prosecution, public defense, or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a nonprofit organization).
  • Perkins Loan Cancellation for Public Service
    Providing partial loan cancellation for persons in specified public service jobs including federal public defenders.

Rules will be established by the federal agencies responsible for administering these programs and Equal Justice Works will post updates as this process moves forward.

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