As student loan payments resume, the USC Gould Office of Admissions and Financial Aid has revised its Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to ease the transition for Gould alumni.
The office has made a one-year commitment to fully cover loan payments for LRAP participants earning less than $100,000 a year. The policy revision was made possible through savings resulting from the loan payment pause during the pandemic, and after Financial Aid performed a program audit that demonstrated how the policy change could help more graduates.
“We recognized that our graduates face loan payments that they either have never made, depending on when they graduated, or have not made in three years,” says Mary Bingham, director of Financial Aid. “We wanted to assist with this transition as much as possible, especially with our graduates working in public service employment.”
With this commitment, Financial Aid can approve every graduate who has applied for LRAP funds this academic year, Bingham says. The previous cap was $70,000, which helped fewer applicants, since many in public service employment were earning between $63,000 and $95,000 — a reflection of the increase in salaries for graduates just out of law school.
“We could only cover part of their debt,” Bingham says. “That’s why we felt we needed to go further.”
The policy change is planned only for one year, but Financial Aid will revisit the policy at the end of that year to see if other adjustments can be made.
For more information on LRAP and about other resources for student loan debt management, go to the LRAP Application and Guidelines form at LRAP-Application-Guidelines.pdf (usc.edu), or contact Financial Aid at [email protected].