Your Career

Loan Assistance: Eligibility

Graduating MBA students and qualified alumni may apply at any time during the first ten years following graduation; preference is given to graduates entering the Program within three years of graduation. The annual program cycle covers January 1 – December 31 following the application deadline, and the committee will assess a candidate's eligibility within that specific year-long period, based on the information provided within the application.

Quick self-assessment tip: If you did not receive any HBS Fellowships while enrolled, it is unlikely that you have need-based loans eligible for this program.

You may be eligible for assistance if:

  • You are an HBS graduate within ten years of graduation who demonstrates financial need and who has received need-based financial aid during your enrollment. (See "Loans" below.)
  • You have accepted a full-time job (minimum 35 hours per week) with an eligible nonprofit or public sector organization with total compensation that meets the income guidelines. (See Income and Assets, Employment, and Awards sections).

Loans

The Program is designed to support graduates who were determined by the Financial Aid office to have demonstrated need during enrollment at HBS and who have filed financial aid applications while at HBS. Only HBS loans taken to cover demonstrated need will be considered when determining eligibility (e.g., GradPLUS, Stafford, Perkins, HBS loans and CitiAssist loans). Joint degree graduates are eligible only for coverage of debt provided by HBS. All applicants must be current on loan repayments at the time of application (not in delinquency or default).

Quick self-assessment tip: Before completing an initial application, it is recommended that you confirm your loan eligibility. Please email the Financial Aid office at LRAP@hbs.edu with permission to review and share your information with the Selection Committee. This step is not required for subsequent applications.

Debt not covered by the Program includes:

  • Debt used to replace student contributions as calculated by MBA Financial Aid Services, or borrowing for living expenses above the financial aid budget.
  • Debt incurred for non-HBS work in a joint degree program.
  • Debt from other degree programs.
  • Consumer debt.

Applicants who have previously participated in any HBS lump-sum debt-reduction program are unlikely to qualify for the Non-Profit/Public Sector Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Applications from prior debt-reduction program participants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For HMS-HBS joint degree recipients, the HBS contribution to the joint HBS-HMS loan forgiveness program in the years it was available will be taken into account in calculating award eligibility. Additionally, if your employer offers educational loan repayment assistance, HBS requires you to take advantage of such assistance and make accelerated payments.

Income & Assets

Quick self-assessment tip: Maximum eligible award coverage is determined by a calculation for those with annual adjusted incomes of up to $80,000; those with higher adjusted income levels may be eligible for partial coverage of need-based debt obligations.

Calculation for Adjusted Income

All calculations are based on information applicable to the annual program cycle, which covers January 1 - December 31 following the application deadline. To assist you in understanding the calculation for adjusted income, we have provided the formulas for a single and married loan assistance applicant. For all married applicants, we will complete both single and married applicant calculations, and the greater adjusted income will be used to determine eligibility.

Single Applicant Calculation

  • Applicant's gross wages
  • + Housing allowances from employer
  • + Other income
  • + Significant amount of assets
  • – $6,300 for each dependent child
  • – $9,600 maximum based on actual cost of child care expenses for each child
  • = Applicant's Adjusted Income

Married Applicant Calculation

  • Applicant's and spouse's gross wages
  • + Housing allowances
  • + Other income
  • + Significant amount of assets
  • – Spouse's required annual educational loan payments for their own need–based loans
  • – $6,300 for each dependent child
  • – $9,600 maximum based on actual cost of child care expenses for each child
  • = Total multiplied by .50
  • = Married Applicant's Adjusted Income

Term Position Calculation

We will compute the income as shown above, and then use the appropriate fraction for the number of months to be worked in the award year. The same fraction determines the payment made towards eligible loans. Examples for a term position ending in May:

  • Applicant's Adjusted Annual Income =$97,000 x 5/12ths =$40,417 term income
  • Eligible annual loan payment=$7,800 x 5/12ths =$3,276

Assets other than retirement accounts will be taken into account when calculating the amount of aid awarded. Assets borrowed against to attend HBS are excluded from this calculation. Substantial household assets or income may lead to a reevaluation of award.

Employment

Graduates who have accepted a full-time job (minimum 35 hours per week) with a nonprofit or public sector organization are eligible to apply to the Program.

Eligible organizations include:

  • An approved tax-exempt organization in the United States with 501(c) (3) status of the Internal Revenue Code which performs a clear public benefit.
  • An approved local, state, or federal government agency of the United States (including military service).
  • An approved government or nonprofit organization located outside of the United States, as permitted by U.S. law.
  • An approved multi-lateral or international non-governmental organization.

Employment considerations:

  • Graduates working in term positions (including participants in the HBS Leadership Fellows program) will be considered based on their overall income during the annual program cycle and the length of time they will be working in a qualifying position within the January 1 – December 31 program cycle.
  • Part-time employees, entrepreneurs, and self-employed graduates in the nonprofit or public sectors will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Graduates engaged in partisan politics are not eligible for the Program.

The HBS Nonprofit / Public Sector Loan Repayment Assistance Program is not intended for individuals still seeking employment; in volunteer positions, employed in for-profit enterprises, or receiving only a nominal salary; or engaged in post-MBA studies (with the exception of medical residencies in approved programs). Graduating students who are pursuing for-profit social enterprise positions upon graduation may be eligible to apply for HBS loan programs that support Private Sector Employees or Entrepreneurs during the year that they are graduating. (Intranet Login Required)

The Program will provide up to three months of award payments per child during parental leave from employment, if the graduate returns to same job or another eligible employer.