Alumni Short

Public Interest Low Income Protection Plan II (PILIPP II)


Cornell Law School has a long-standing commitment to supporting students and graduates who wish to pursue careers in the public interest. A key component of this commitment is our Public Interest Low Income Protection Plan (PILIPP). Recognizing the pressures created by high educational debt, through PILIPP the Law School provides generous loan repayment assistance to J.D. graduates working in the public interest.

New Federal legislation presents the opportunity to expand loan repayment assistance. As of August 2015, PILIPP has been replaced by a more comprehensive program, PILIPP II, described below. Additionally, PILIPP II participants who work for 10 years in any of the broad range of jobs deemed eligible for federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness can have all of their federally guaranteed loan repayments reimbursed by Cornell Law School and the remaining principal balance forgiven by the federal government.

Eligible Employment

Participants must be working domestically or internationally in jobs with federal, state, or local government entities, nonprofit organizations or labor unions. The job must either require a J.D. degree, or be law related, meaning that it substantially utilizes the legal training and skills learned in law school. A graduate will qualify on a deferred basis if she engages in a one-year post-graduate judicial clerkship, and subsequently engages in qualifying employment. Note the definition of eligible employment under PILIPP II is more inclusive than the definition of eligible employment for purposes of federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness. See "Frequently Asked Questions" for details.

Eligible Loans

All federal subsidized, unsubsidized, Grad Plus, and Perkins loans are eligible for the program. Private bar study loans up to $10,000 are also eligible.

Income Eligibility

A participant must earn a salary of less than $80,000. Only the participant's income reported for the purpose of determining Federal IBR or PAYE payment amounts is counted as income for the purpose of determining the PILIPP II award.

Calculating Annual Awards

Participants will receive an award equal to the amount of their total eligible yearly IBR or PAYE payments plus the annual payment due on bar study loans up to $10,000. Participants are not required to place their loans in IBR or PAYE. However, awards will be calculated as if the loans are in IBR or PAYE. The Law School has the discretion to cap annual awards at $15,000.

Participation Term

Graduates may participate in the PILIPP II program for a maximum of 10 years. The 10 years need not be consecutive.

Application Timing

Participants must apply on an annual basis, as award amounts are recalculated each year. Application materials are due December 1.

Application Materials

Nature of the Award

The PILIPP II award will be made in the form of a loan to the participant that is disbursed in two equal installments in January and June and forgiven at the end of the year. Assistance under this plan may be non-taxable under 26 U.S.C. 108 (F) for participants who work for government entities or 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organizations.