Law School Discussion

Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program

ManTGeo

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Re: Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2008, 11:06:15 AM »
Evidently it's much better for a newly-minted lawyer's taxes when schools give interest-free loans (which are eventually forgiven as the recipient meets his program commitments) than outright grants.  You don't want to have to pay taxes on loan forgiveness "income," eh?

Harvard's 'grants' ARE given as loans when necessary for tax purposes, it's just that the loans are forgiven after a year (i.e. NO PROGRAM COMMITMENTS) rather than 3 or 5 years.

ManTGeo

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Re: Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2008, 11:42:50 AM »
Boy do I feel dumb... but it makes a lot more sense now. I was wondering since when did Columbia have more money than Harvard...

No need to feel dumb - the whole thing is really confusing, and NYU and Columbia do a good job of obscuring the stratospheric difference between their program and that of Harvard (and Yale, I think).

a) which jobs don't qualify at CLS that would at HLS? the only thing H's website mentions that isn't in Columbia's info packet is "academic". NGO, 501(c)3, Government work, and Clerkships seem to be covered in general.

All jobs that are law related and make under the threshold amount qualify at HLS. There are no other requirements whatsoever. You could be practicing law that was aimed squarely against the public interest, and so long as you were making less than a certain amount, you'd still be covered.

Harvard also covers non-law-related jobs, but only so long as they are in the categories you listed, I believe.

The one job that is never covered is a clerkship, unless you intend to be covered by LIPP afterwards. If you do, then you are given a loan that will not be forgiven if you end up working for high levels of pay.

b) According to the website, LIPP is also funded by loans unless you're self-employed, working for Harvard, or for a for-profit. The big difference is that HLS forgives each years worth of loans at the end of the year. CLS doesn't start forgiving loans until after your 3rd year, and you'd still have to repay at least some of the assistance if you quit your PI job during year 4 or year 5. You don't get to Harvard levels of forgiveness until after 5 years.

Loans of one year are, essentially, grants. They are just given in the form of forgivable loans to avoid tax liability.

Re: Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2008, 05:56:03 AM »
For COAP (Yale's program), loans are also forgiven yearly. Every March, they send out a letter saying the the previous year's award has been forgiven.

Another great thing about COAP is that the job doesn't have to be related to law. You could work at McDonalds and still have them pay back your loans.

I've participated in COAP for 8 years, and it's a amazing program. I'm not making tons of money, but my husband and son and I live quite comfortably in the middle of the country with a nice house, lots of vacations, etc.  Yale excludes childcare expenses and also excludes an additional $7500 per year per child from your income for COAP purposes. I'll probably end up paying about $10,000 for my YLS eduction.

Miss P

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Re: Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2008, 09:26:55 AM »
For COAP (Yale's program), loans are also forgiven yearly. Every March, they send out a letter saying the the previous year's award has been forgiven.

Ah, interesting.  I asked my ex (also on COAP) who thought otherwise.  Some people are not great with money . . .

Do you know how the program is changing for new students?

Re: Harvard Announces New Public Interest Financial Aid Program
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2008, 08:30:44 PM »
I don't know how the program has changed, but Yale has always been really flexible, at least in my experience. I had a weird job situation where I wasn't sure how much I'd make a year, and they gave me the full COAP amount for the year.

I just got the e-mail about my "loan" from last year being forgiven, and I know I've gotten a letter or e-mail every year about this time.