The law school announced it has removed the $100,000 cap on debt that its loan repayment assistance program will help with. Beginning in January, the program will provide up to 10 years of support on all qualifying student loan debt to alums earning less than $65,000 working in public interest or government jobs. Some assistance is available to those earning above that amount.
Dennis Tominaga, assistant dean of financial aid, told The Shark that the school was able to make the changes because of the new loan repayment option offered by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which in July allowed enrollment in its Income-Based Repayment plan.
Private loans don’t qualify for the IBR or public loan forgiveness plans, but Tominaga said the school will offer help with those payments for students who graduate by 2012.
At least one alum is breathing easier. Rebecca Hart, who graduated from Berkeley Law in 2007, says the new option will make it easier to work as a legal fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights. The new program should cover several hundred dollars of loan payments she's currently making. “That means those several hundred a month will be freed up for rent and living expenses in New York, which is really the epicenter of the work I do,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to be at the center if not for the LRAP program.”
— Petra Pasternak