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Law School To Ease Loan Repayments

Publication Date: 
April 14, 2008
Source: 
The Stanford Daily
Author: 
Tiffany Cartwright

Both Dean Larry Kramer and Senior Associate Dean of Administration and CFO Frank Brucato are quoted in The Stanford Daily in an article explaining changes to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) and demonstrating its effectiveness to newly admitted law students:

“We speak with participants and reevaluate LRAP every year,” said Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “But due to the recent press about Harvard’s new Public Service Initiative, we thought it was important to make a bigger announcement to reaffirm that Stanford has the most generous loan forgiveness program in the country.”

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Kramer emphasized that the term “grant” is a little misleading.

“Essentially, Harvard becomes one of your creditors,” Kramer said. “They loan you the tuition money and then promise to forgive it if you stay in public service for five years. But if you leave the program, you pay back the entire amount, plus a ten percent penalty and an above-market interest rate.”

To prove that Stanford’s program is still the “most generous,” Frank Brucato, Chief Financial Officer of the Law School, presented a chart to newly admitted students on Sunday morning. The chart showed, for each year of public interest employment, the amount an average student would have already contributed to his loan payments and the amount of debt that would remain — essentially a measure of how much debt the graduate would be responsible for were he to leave LRAP at that time. After each year in the program, with the exception of one — year five — Stanford’s amount was lowest, making LRAP the most generous.

“So if you plan to leave after exactly five years,” Brucato joked, “Harvard is a better deal.”

Kramer also discounted the idea that Harvard’s tuition grant would be a powerful psychological lure regardless of the fine details.

“Law students aren’t stupid,” Kramer said. “They’ll be able to crunch the numbers and know which program is better.”