Alumni Short

Public Interest Low Income Protection Plan II (PILIPP II) FAQs


How do I apply for PILIPP II assistance?

Complete the PILIPP II application and return it to the Admissions and Financial Aid Office of the law school along with the required supporting documents. The application and supporting documents should be returned via email to or faxed to 607-255-4656.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are due by December 1 to receive PILIPP II benefits for the following calendar year. Even if you begin your public service early in the year, the application deadline remains the same

The Financial Aid Office and the Public Service Committee will review PILIPP II applications and determine eligibility. They will review your job description to confirm that the work is law related, and that you are working at an eligible organization.

Do I need to be employed full time?

No. PILIPP II covers half-time employment on a pro-rata basis. Be advised that any time spent in less than full-time employment does not count for purposes of federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

I am on a one-year fellowship. Am I eligible?

Yes, so long as the substance of the fellowship otherwise falls within the definition of eligible employment. Graduates receiving funding through the Law School's Graduate Fellowship Grant program are eligible for PILIPP II assistance. Any graduate awarded a Frank H.T. Rhodes Public Interest Fellowship through the Law School is eligible for PILIPP II assistance.

Do judicial clerkships qualify?

If you engage in a one-year post-graduate judicial clerkship, and subsequently engage in qualifying public interest employment, the Law School will retroactively award PILIPP II benefits to you for your clerkship year.

Do jobs with private law firms qualify?

No, jobs with private law firms are not considered qualifying employment.

Is there an income cap?

Yes. Your income must be less than $80,000.

How do you calculate my income?

Your income is the salary you expect to earn in eligible employment during the upcoming application year.

If I am married, is my spouse's income considered?

Spousal income will be included if you choose to file your taxes jointly.

Can I receive PILIPP II assistance for all of my federal student loans?

Yes. All subsidized, unsubsidized, Grad Plus, and Perkins loans are eligible for PILIPP II assistance.

Must I enroll in IBR or PAYE in order to receive PILIPP II assistance?

No, but we strongly recommend that you do so. IBR or PAYE can help make your monthly loan payments more affordable by basing them on your income and family size. Additionally, you may have additional loan sums due if you do not apply for IBR or PAYE. Which plan pertains to you depends upon the year you took out your first federal loan. Whether or not you enroll in IBR or PAYE, your PILIPP II grant will be calculated based on the payments you would owe in IBR or PAYE.

Where can I find out more about my federal student loans, IBR, and PAYE?

Your loan servicer can determine your monthly IBR or PAYE loan payment amount. If you are unsure who your loan servicer is, you can find this information in "My Federal Student Aid" at, or you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-900-4-FED-AID. To enroll in IBR or PAYE, you must submit an Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request at Consult the Law School's Admissions and Financial Aid Coordinator for assistance.

Are any other loans covered?

Private bar study loans up to $10,000 are covered. How much of my yearly loan payment will be covered by the Law School? Each year that you work full time in a qualifying position, and earn an income up to the salary cap, PILIPP II will cover the full amount of your IBR payment. Additionally, your annual payment due on a bar study loan of up to $10,000 will be included in your PILIPP II award.

How long can I be enrolled in PILIPP II?

The Law School will assist you for up to a total of 10 years. The 10 years do not need to be consecutive. You do not need to enter the PILIPP II program immediately following graduation, and you may exit and re-enter the program.

How will I know if I am receiving a PILIPP II award?

You will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office by December 28.

When will I receive my award?

Your award will be made in the form of a loan disbursed in two equal installments in January and June. The loan is then forgiven at the end of the calendar year.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my PILIPP II application or award?

Cornell Law School's Admissions and Financial Aid Coordinator, Pamala Eaton, at 607-255-5141 or

What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Through the U.S. Department of Education, borrowers who make payments based on income, over at least 10 years, while working in qualifying public service, are eligible for forgiveness for any remaining balance-Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). To be eligible for PSLF, you must make 120 loan payments on loans that are eligible for IBR or PAYE. Additionally, you must be working in eligible employment. The definition of the "eligible employment" for PSLF is more restrictive than that for receiving a PILIPP II grant. The PSLF definition excludes "labor unions, partisan political organizations, non-profit organizations engaged in religious instruction, worship services or any form of proselytizing." Additionally work overseas must be for a U.S. nonprofit organization or a U.S. government employer. For more information about Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, see

What if I need to take time off from public interest work?

PILIPP II allows you to enter and exit the program at any time during your ten years of eligibility.

What if I am taking a parental leave?

A parental leave includes the birth of a child and/or to care for the newborn child within one year of birth, the placement with the participant of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement. PILIPP II provides two options for parental leave, a) If you take 12 weeks of parental leave in a calendar year, you may receive PILIPP II benefits for that year; or, b) If you take more than 12 weeks of parental leave in a calendar year, you are ineligible for PILIPP II benefits that year. However, you will be granted an additional year of PILIPP II eligibility.

What if I elect to discontinue my career in public service?

If you are enrolled in IBR and leave public service (and therefore discontinue IBR) before the completion of the 10 years, your debt will not be forgiven. You will also likely have higher loan payments and interest fees. Interest accrual can be substantial depending on how long you carry the debt.

If I change jobs, what do I do?

Any changes to your employment or loan situation must be reported to the Financial Aid Office within 15 days.

If I am receiving PILIPP II benefits and the government ends IBR, what will happen to my PILIPP II Award?

Both PSFL and IBR are subject to periodic federal review. Should there be changes in federal policy, the Law School's PILIPP II will be adjusted accordingly.