Current Students

LRAP Guidelines and Spousal Income

As you may be aware, on June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. In light of this, we will apply our program guidelines regarding annualized income to all married participants. Effective January 1, 2016, if you are legally married you should report your spouse’s information on your LRAP application.

As a reminder, LRAP policy states that a married participant’s annualized full-time income will not be adjusted unless his or her spouse has a higher income, in which case the participant’s eligible income will be calculated based on half of the joint income of the couple.

We realize that January 1, 2016 is fast approaching. If you will be renewing an LRAP contract in early 2016 and you have concerns regarding how this will impact you, please notify us before January 1, 2016. We also encourage anyone with questions to schedule an LRAP appointment so that we can discuss your specific situation.

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal

*This memo is from Dean Gillian Lester.

To:  Students and Alumni
From:  Acting Dean Lester
Subject: President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal

As you may be aware, President Obama released his budget proposal for the 2015 fiscal year on Tuesday, March 4.  His proposal contains surprising changes to federal student loan repayment options and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Beginning with new borrowers on July 1, 2015, they will have only the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) repayment option available to them when they repay their loans.  Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) will be capped at the aggregate independent undergraduate loan limit of $57,500.  There will be a 25-year forgiveness period for borrowers with balances above the aggregate loan limit.

These proposed changes are important because Berkeley Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) intersects with the federal government’s current policy and regulations pertaining to the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan and PSLF.  Berkeley Law values and has provided significant support to its public service students and graduates, and it will continue to do so.

Last July, Assistant Dean of Financial Aid, Dennis Tominaga, acted on his growing concern that eventually the federal government might consider changing or eliminating PSLF because of its potential cost and the need to fund other parts of the federal budget.  He urged and requested the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) to begin collecting and analyzing data to illustrate how PSLF and income-determined repayment plans such as PAYE and IBR enable student loan borrowers to obtain the education needed to meet our society’s public service workforce needs.

NASFAA advocates for students and financial aid administrators.  From March through June 2014, its PSLF Task Force will produce a report and recommendations to the NASFAA Board of Directors on the future of PSLF.

It is difficult, if not impossible to predict whether Congress will act on the president’s budget proposal that requests $56 billion in new spending.  Congress has already set spending limits for the 2015 fiscal year.

I am sending this message primarily to assure you that we are aware of these proposed changes and their possible effects on Berkeley Law’s LRAP and your public service career.  We will focus not only on these proposals but any others that may have similar effects.  We will study them in relation to the LRAP and changes that we may need to consider.

We will stay in communication with you and provide you with information about the proposal, its status, and what Berkeley Law can and will do.

Please be assured that we will do our best to protect your interests.

Federal Student Aid website – NEW

The Department of Education redesigned the Federal Student Aid website into a more user friendly tool. Here are some valuable links for Public Service graduates:

If you have a moment please browse this new tool and complete a Survey and provide Feedback about your experience.

Disputes with your federal student loan servicer?

If you have not received satisfactory results working with your student loan servicer resolving a dispute you may contact FSA Ombudsman Group at or 1-877-557-2575 for assistance.

For example if, due to the current problem with GradPlus, you had to make a payment or your account was debited by your student loan servicer without authorization while you were in school, the Ombudsman’s office should be able to assist you in retrieving your payment or clearing up discrepancies with your student loan servicer.

Need help to find your federal student loan servicer?

The processing of federal student loans is contracted out to one of several loan “servicers.” You can find the name and contact information for the servicer of your loans on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website.

After logging in, click on the individual loan number to access detailed information such as the “scheduled start of repayment” date and the servicer / lender contact information. The most common lenders for Boalt students are Direct Loan Servicing (ACS) and Department of Education (Pheaa). Regularly updated contact information for each servicer can be found on the Department of Education’s

Some Boalt graduates reported that their federal student loans were transferred from Direct Loan Servicing (ACS) to another servicing provider without any notice or access information. The NSLDS website is the best place to find the new servicer’s information.

Create a Spending Plan Information Session (10/26)

Wednesday, October 26

12:50 PM – 1:50 PM

Create a Spending Plan Information Session

170 Boalt Hall

Create a Spending Plan and Better Manage your Student Loans 1Ls: Plan to attend the info session aimed at taking control of your spending and planning your borrowing while at Berkeley Law. This session will enable you to evaluate your spending, assist in reducing your student loan debt, avoiding credit card debt, and becoming overall budget savvy. Download our Spending Plan spreadsheet and bring your laptop to the session. All students are welcome!

New Direct Loan Servicing Centers

Please note that as of this fall the Federal Direct loans are serviced by five servicing centers. Borrowers are assigned to one of five servicers: ACS, Great Lakes, NelNet, PHEAA, or Sallie Mae.