Iowa College Aid Helps Public Service Attorneys with Loan Repayment Program
John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program relieves debt load for attorneys working in public interest
The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) today announced the opening of the application process for the John R. Justice (JRJ) Loan Repayment Program with a priority filing deadline of October 30, 2015. Iowa College Aid administers the John R. Justice (JRJ) Loan Repayment Program, a federally-funded initiative intended to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as prosecutors and public defenders, and to continue in that service for at least three years. Last year, 23 Iowa attorneys were awarded grants through the program.
While student loan debt can drive many graduating attorneys to employment opportunities in the more lucrative private sector, the JRJ Loan Repayment Program encourages new graduates to meet the needs of prosecutor and public defender offices.
“Loan repayment programs, like the JRJ Loan Repayment Program, help us connect talented graduates with communities where their skills are most needed,” said Karen Misjak, executive director of Iowa College Aid, the agency responsible for administering the program. “By incentivizing graduates through these types of programs, we make it equally beneficial to consider those positions that best serve the needs of our communities while providing a benefit to a graduate’s needs in terms of both career growth and financial support.”
Iowa prosecutors and public defenders interested in the program must meet the following criteria to apply:
- Meet the definition of an eligible prosecutor or public defender in the State of Iowa (see definitions in Appendix A and Appendix B of the new recipient application);
- Must have been employed in an eligible position on or before January 1, 2014;
- Complete and file annual applications by the deadline established by the Iowa College Aid. If funds remain available after the application deadline, the Iowa College Aid will continue to accept applications;
- Have outstanding eligible educational loan debt, described as one of the following:
- Federal Subsidized Stafford loans;
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans;
- Federal Perkins loans;
- Federal Graduate PLUS loans;
- Federal Consolidation loans (excluding those used to repay Federal Parent PLUS Loans)
- Be employed in an eligible prosecutor or public defender position for each year of the three-year contract period;
- Must be continually licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa;
- Must be employed full-time, which is not less than 75 percent of the forty hour work week; and
- Must not be in default on any federal student loans
Funding is limited and therefore applications must be received on or before the priority deadline of October 30, 2015 to be considered for the program. Conditional award designations will be made by December, 2015. For more information about the program, please contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456, or visit www.IowaCollegeAid.gov.