Barrack Public Interest Fellowship Program: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Barrack Public Interest Fellowship Program?

The Barrack Public Interest Fellowship program is a loan repayment assistance program which loans funds to eligible graduates to help them with the repayment of their student loans. Loan funds received through the program are forgiven at the end of the calendar year provided the recipient remains in qualifying employment.

What is considered qualifying employment?

You must be employed on a full-time basis in a law-related public interest position. We use a broad definition of public interest employment but the basic requirement is that you must be working for either a non-profit or government employer. Students working in positions which don't fall under either of these categories may still be eligible and should contact the Program Administrator for more information.

Is there a salary cut-off?

Yes, the current cut-off is $60,000. The salary cut-off and income eligibility factors are reviewed yearly and are frequently adjusted to keep up with current salaries in public interest positions.

How much am I eligible to receive?

Award amounts are calculated as a percentage of the eligible graduate's annual loan repayment under Income Based Repayment (IBR) or other income-driven repayment plans. Loan award amounts are made on a sliding scale with graduates with the lowest salaries receiving the largest percentage of their annual repayment.

Do I have to be participating in IBR to be eligible to receive funding through the program?

No, you do not have to be participating in IBR to be eligible.  However, if you are not repaying your loans through one of the income-driven repayment options your loan award amount will be calculated based on what your expected payment would be if you were paying your loans through Income Based Repayment. We do recommend that all graduates working in public interest positions explore the various income-driven repayment options available as doing so may significantly reduce your annual loan repayment obligation.

Does the program cover judicial clerkships?

No, the program does not cover graduates working in judicial clerkships. However, graduates who take a qualifying position after completing a clerkship may apply for funding through the program.

How do I apply?

All applicants must submit an application form (available for download from the Law School website), an Employer Verification Form, documentation from your lender regarding your monthly payment amount and the status of your loan, a copy of your federal tax return from the previous year and a personal statement.

When are awards made?

Awards are typically made in February of each year. If you are awarded a loan through the program you will be required to submit a signed promissory note before any funds will be released to you. Funds are released in one disbursement and it is up to each recipient to use the funds to make their loan payments throughout the year.

Can I receive funding for more than one year?

Yes, eligible graduates may receive funding from the program for up to ten years provided they submit a new application and supporting documentation each year.

I still have more questions. Who should I contact?

Questions should be directed to Johanne Johnston, Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid at johanne.johnston@temple.edu or 215-204-3659.