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Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

To aid students interested in pursuing careers in public service and public interest law, USC Gould created the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) in 1987. Since then, we have:

  • sought to ensure that post-graduation employment options are not dictated by student loan obligations
  • recognized the legal community's responsibility to provide services to people who cannot otherwise afford representation
  • encouraged our graduates to pursue public interest or public service careers

If you accept employment with low-paying public interest organizations and government agencies, or hold a judicial clerkship position, LRAP can provide you with assistance in repaying your student loans. You will be expected to apply a specified percentage of your earnings toward your educational loan repayments, with USC Gould making an LRAP loan for the remainder.

The amount of LRAP assistance will depend upon your income and total student loan payment obligations. For married couples, income is calculated by using the graduate's income or averaging the amounts earned by both spouses, whichever is higher. In addition, we consider whether you have dependent children in determining your eligibility.

If your total annual income is $55,000 or less, you will not be expected to make any contributions toward your loan repayment. The LRAP loan will cover the full amount of minimum monthly loan payments.

If you remain eligible and participate in LRAP for five years, your entire LRAP loan may be forgiven. If you participate for fewer than five years, your LRAP loan may be partially forgiven. The partial-forgiveness schedule can be found on the LRAP application.

The LRAP year runs from October 1 to September 30 and a new application for assistance is required annually.

Other ways to pay off your student loans

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • Who Qualifies: Public service workers with federal Stafford, Grad PLUS, or consolidation loans in the Direct Loan program.
  • What Could You Get: Full loan forgiveness after 10 years of on-time payments.
  • More Information

Income-based repayment (IBR)

  • Who Qualifies: Federal student loan borrowers with either Direct or FFEL loans.
  • What Could You Get: Payment based on your income and family size. IBR will also forgive remaining debt, if any, after 25 years of qualifying payments, even if not in public service career.
  • More Information

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

  • Who Qualifies: All federal student loan borrowers.
  • What Could You Get: Caps your monthly payments on federal loans at 10% of your discretionary income. In addition, your outstanding debt is forgiven after 20 years of on-time payments, even if not in public service career.
  • More Information


  • Who Qualifies: Those who move to live and work in rural Kansas, Niagara Falls, NY, and several other communities.
  • What Could You Get: It varies, but the forgiveness can be between $3,500 and $5,000 annually for up to 5 years.
  • More Information

Equal Justice Works (EJW) Educational Debt Relief Program

The EJW Educational Debt Relief program is devoted to advocating for student debt relief and spreading the word to make sure those who need relief are taking the right steps to qualify. EJW detailed and user-friendly resources are available to help prospective students, current students and graduates; school advisors and administrators; and employers.