The problem of high monthly repayment obligations for educational debt has long plagued students, particularly graduate and professional students, who desired lower-paying public interest careers. Congress has recently responded very positively. In the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress has made it possible for high-debt, lower-income graduates to manage debt repayment through an "income-based repayment" plan. In addition, Congress has created a new program through which public servants -- including all government workers and all employees of all non-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code --are entitled to have a substantial portion of their educational debt forgiven after making modest repayments during ten years of full-time employment. Together, these two new programs will enable student borrowers to choose their careers without being unduly influenced by their debt burdens and will enable governments and non-profit organizations to retain talented professionals who would otherwise be forced to resign after two or three years and seek higher-paying jobs so that they could repay their student loans.
This article describes how the new law will apply to graduates serving in public interest jobs (including those who have already graduated and those who will graduate before the law goes fully into effect). A major purpose of the article is to help students and high-debt/low-income graduates understand how the new law may help them in their career and financial planning. This article also discusses additional reforms that Congress should adopt to complete its significant accomplishments in this area.
36 Hofstra L. Rev. 27-63 (2007)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Schrag, Philip G., "Federal Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Public Interest Lawyers and other Employees of Governments and Nonprofit Organizations" (2007). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 414.