Laurie M. Tisch Loan Repayment Assistance Program 2021
The Laurie M. Tisch Loan Repayment Assistance Program at Cardozo benefits Cardozo J.D. graduates who have chosen to pursue careers in public service by providing “forgivable loans” to assist them in overcoming their educational debt.
In 2020 a total of $151,000 was awarded to 40 alumni who graduated in the prior 6 years. They were provided awards ranging from $1,250 - $13,750, assisting with their non-federal student loan payments during the timeframe of the U.S. Department of Education's COVID-19 federal loan suspension.
Who is eligible?
J.D. Graduates who qualify may apply to the Program within six years of graduation. Thus, graduates who received a J.D. from Cardozo in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, & 2020 are eligible. Graduates must reapply annually and can continue to receive funding pending continuing eligibility.
Are there any exceptions to the eligibility requirements?
Graduates from the class of 2014 who clerked for a judge following graduation and then entered public service are also eligible to apply. Additionally, graduates may apply for a “leave of absence” for up to 1 year under certain circumstances (i.e. medical leave or parental leave). Thus, holding the “leave” year in abeyance and allowing for an additional year to apply for the program. The Graduate must inform the LRAP Committee prior to taking the “leave”, and it is in the discretion of the LRAP Committee whether to grant a “leave”.
What kinds of jobs are eligible?
A paid full-time law-related job that, in the sole determination of Cardozo, is of a public service nature, qualifies. A "law-related" job is one that, as determined by Cardozo, uses the applicant's legal training to a significant extent. "Public Service" jobs may include legal aid societies, public defenders' offices, district attorneys' offices, legal services offices, governmental agencies, private non-profit organizations dedicated to public interest law, international human rights organizations, and clinical law teaching jobs. Graduates serving as term judicial clerks are only eligible to apply after they have completed their clerkship and are employed in a qualified public service job. Their eligibility to apply will be held in abeyance during their judicial clerkship. For example, 2020 graduates who are currently clerking do not qualify; however, they can apply for the six years following their clerkship if all other eligibility requirements are met. Please note: A volunteer position does not qualify for LRAP.
What are the income requirements?
Please see the table below. If your salary exceeds these parameters and/or you possess exigent circumstances, please include a detailed explanation and supporting documentation with your LRAP application, and the committee will take it under consideration.
Graduation Year Salary Cap
- 2020 $74,000
- 2019 $76,000
- 2018 $78,000
- 2017 $80,000
- 2016 $82,000
- 2015 $84,000
What are the debt burden guidelines?
Graduates who meet the income requirements must have an individual accumulated educational debt burden of $60,000 or more.
What kinds of loans may be included in the computation of indebtedness?
All documented undergraduate and graduate educational student loans (except personal loans from family or friends) in active repayment status are included. These student loan types include Federal (see below regarding the current federal suspension - which encompasses Stafford, Graduate PLUS, Consolidated), Perkins, Private (Alternative), Refinanced, and Institutional. Eligible loan types must be officially considered a "student loan". Loans that have been refinanced by home equity loans, non-student loan bank loans, or family/parent loans, are not eligible for LRAP assistance!
Do I need to reapply for LRAP funding each year?
Yes. The Laurie M. Tisch LRAP program is administered annually. Eligible applicants MUST apply every year for LRAP funding. Prior recipients are eligible to apply every year provided they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.
How much assistance is a participant eligible to receive?
Loan repayment assistance will be awarded in varying amounts. The committee assesses the individual need of eligible applicants by reviewing the applicant’s income, resources, monthly student loan obligation, and monthly expenses. In addition, the committee reviews all additional materials submitted by the applicant that are relevant to the individual's financial circumstances. Funding amounts also depend upon the number of eligible applicants during each funding cycle. In 2020, awards ranged from $1,250 - $13,750.
How many awards will be made?
Please note, no representation is or can be made as to the number of grants or the amounts thereof that will be made in any year or during the continuation of this program, which may be discontinued at any time without notice.
How will awards be made?
LRAP awards are made in the form of a forgivable loan. The recipients will sign a promissory note for this loan and MUST retain eligibility for 1 year in order to have the loan forgiven. Recipients maintain eligibility during the LRAP cycle by remaining in qualified employment, with an eligible salary, and showing that their student loan payments continue to be in active repayment consistent with the amount indicated upon their initial application. Recipients will be notified to submit required documentation regarding eligibility for forgiveness 1 calendar year following disbursement of the award.
Who will decide who receives a grant?
A committee made up of Cardozo School of Law administrators has been designated by the Dean of the Law School to review applications and determine eligibility. All applications will be kept in strict confidence.
Please carefully read through ALL of the application materials.
Due to the U.S. Department of Education's continued suspension of all federal student loan payments and interest, which is currently set to expire on September 30, 2021, at this time, Cardozo's 2021 LRAP cycle will only be considering applications for financial assistance towards non-federal student loans (i.e. - private and institutional student loans) that are currently in active repayment.
Should the federal student loan suspension officially expire on September 30, 2021, triggering active repayment and accruing interest on all federal student loans, we expect that we will open up a supplemental application for the 2021 LRAP cycle to include financial assistance for federal student loans at that time. If an additional LRAP application is opened for the 2021 LRAP year, the supplemental 2021 application will be posted to this website.
- April 27, 2021: 2021 LRAP Application available HERE.
- June 1, 2021: 2021 LRAP Application DEADLINE. Part 1 of the application must be completed and submitted online by June 1, 2021. Part 2 of the application (supporting documentation) must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, 2021.
- On or about September 1, 2021: Award notification letters e-mailed to eligible recipients.
- On or about November 1, 2021: Awards are disbursed to eligible recipients.