Loans and Loan Repayment Assistance Program
In order to be eligible for federal student aid, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Dickinson Law measures academic progress on an annual basis each summer prior to the next academic year. First-year students are considered to be making progress during their first academic year. All students failing to make progress based on the Law School's Academic Standing Rules will be notified by the Financial Aid Office via letter by August 1. Any aid processed for the subsequent year will be canceled.
Student Loan Resources
In accordance with ABA Standard 507, Dickinson Law is pleased to provide resources for interpreting financial aid eligibility and understanding student loan debt. All resources listed below are free to prospective and current students and recent graduates.
Prospective and current students are invited to connect with Rebecca Schreiber, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, for financial aid and student loan support. As well, any student who borrows an educational loan through the federal loan programs will have access to entrance and exit counseling through Federal Student Aid, facilitated by Penn State University’s Office of Student Aid.
- AccessLex Student Loan Calculator
- These customizable calculators are for aspiring students, current students, and graduates.
- AccessConnex by AccessLex Student Loan Helpline
- Schedule an appointment for individual loan counseling, budgeting assistance, financial planning and more with an Accredited Financial Counselor.
- The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment
- This ebook walks you through loan repayment management.
- Live Webinars
- Choose from a variety of events presented by Accredited Financial Counselors and designed to facilitate your financial success.
Federal and Institutional Resources:
- Federal Student Aid — Overview of Loan Programs
- Learn about the types of loans available to professional students, and what you should consider before borrowing.
- Federal Student Aid — Understanding Student Loan Repayment
- This interactive page offers repayment information tailored to your personal borrowing.
Penn State Student Aid — Federal Direct Loans
This page includes information on federal direct loans and loan repayment.
Penn State Student Aid — Comparing Federal and Private Student Loans
Review a comprehensive comparison chart to help you understand your options.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Stafford Loan)
A student can borrow up to $20,500 per year through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program. Payments on the principal of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan can be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan has a variable fixed interest rate based on the U.S. 10-Year Treasury Note Index. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for graduate students carries a rate of the 10-year index plus 3.60%. For loans that first disburse from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 the interest rate is 5.28%. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan requires an origination fee — a fee charged by a lender on entering into a loan agreement to cover the cost of processing the loan. The fee will be deducted from the gross amount of the loan borrowed. Borrowers accepting a Direct Unsubsidized Loan before mid-September 2022 should expect to receive 1.057% less money than the amount they accept in LionPATH. Origination fees change annually as of October 1.
While rates will vary from year to year, the rate assigned to the loan at the time of disbursement will be the fixed rate on that loan for the life of the loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for graduate students will never have a rate higher than 9.50%.
Other Educational Loans
If a student needs more than the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan allows in any given year, he or she may also be eligible to borrow either a Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students or private educational loans. Through these loan programs a student can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. Students can use this chart to compare PLUS and private loans. Students enrolled less than half-time for summer terms may need to explore private loans for less than half-time enrollment.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)
To encourage and enable Dickinson Law graduates to pursue careers in public interest law, the Law School has established a Loan Repayment and Assistance Program (LRAP) that can assist qualified graduates working in public interest law with their loan repayment obligations.
Dickinson Law implemented its LRAP in the spring of 2003, with the goal of encouraging careers in public interest law by assisting law graduates with their educational loan repayment obligations. Public interest employment is defined as work for a not-for-profit organization that qualifies for tax exemption under IRS Code §§ 501(c)(3) and work that provides legal assistance to underserved people or interests. Prospective applicants are encouraged to pursue loan assistance funding through IOLTA, their employer, or other entities before applying to Dickinson Law’s program. Applicants and participants who receive partial funding through another program are required to report such funding sources to the committee in their application or recertification materials.
WHO MAY APPLY?
Graduates of the class of 2020 may apply through the 2023 selection cycle.
Graduates of the class of 2021 may apply through the 2024 selection cycle.
Graduates from the class of 2022 may apply during the 2025 selection cycle.
Graduates from the class of 2023 may apply during the 2024, 2025, or 2026 selection cycles. Because some program application requirements cannot be met before committee review is completed, 2023 graduates should not apply during the 2023 selection cycle.
2023 SELECTION CYCLE
- Interested applicants must read the LRAP Guidelines in full to understand the program’s eligibility requirements and responsibilities of participants.
- Applications should be postmarked and mailed by May 1, 2023. We can no longer accept applications electronically or by fax due to data privacy concerns.
- Committee decisions will be released to individual applicants by June 30, 2023.
RESOURCES FOR NEW APPLICANTS
NOTES FOR SELECTED PARTICIPANTS
- Annual recertification is required and will be due by July 1 each year.
- Participants must remain in qualifying Public Interest employment for five (5) years. Otherwise, the funds they have received from LRAP must be repaid according to the program’s repayment schedule.
Interested individuals may contact program administrator Rebecca Schreiber with questions.