Your Career

Loan Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in the program?

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. See Eligibility for details on loans, income and assets, and employment. Graduating students pursuing for-profit social enterprise positions may qualify for other HBS loan reduction programs (see Financial Aid Quick Info site, MBA students only).

What if I have access to another loan repayment assistance program?

HBS requires that you participate in both programs if possible. This allows you to pay off your loans sooner, and makes both programs' funds go farther in their support. Another outside program to consider for repayment of loans is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for holders of US Federal Aid.

I'm participating in the Public Service Cancellation program for my US Federal loans. Can I participate in LRAP as well?

Yes, and this is the one exception to the rule that LRAP will only pay on the regular repayment schedule, as this Federal cancellation requires that participants put their loans on an "Income Based Repayment plan (IBR)" during their required service period.

I'm an employee of a local, state or Federal Government. May I participate in LRAP?

There are varying regulations across departments and units regarding employees receiving outside funds. Graduates are required to verify their own eligibility with their local personnel administrator and include this verification with their application. Relevant guidance for US Federal positions includes but is not limited to: 5 U.S.C. 5379 and 931 of Public Law 110-315 of Aug. 14, 2008.

Am I eligible for the program if I am in a term position (including a position in the HBS Leadership Fellows program)?

The annual program cycle covers January 1 – December 31 following the application deadline. The committee will assess a candidate's eligibility within that specific year-long period. Graduates 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 during the specific program cycle, based on the information provided within the application. Awards will be pro-rated for the length of eligible employment within the program cycle. As a graduate in a term position, it is important that you include any known details on your position after the term appointment (including offer letter and 501c3 status letter) in your application for consideration by the review committee.

If I am a graduating student, how can I cover loans that start before the January 1 award cycle?

Graduates may be eligible for the GRAD Plus loan deferment. Generally, the same deferment provisions that apply to federal Stafford loans apply to Graduate PLUS loans. Because PLUS loans are unsubsidized, graduated students will be charged interest during the period of deferment. You may pay the interest as it accrues or you may allow interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal balance). For additional information, please contact The Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 or online at www.dl.ed.gov.

Why are my eligible loans less than my total loan amount?

There are two possible differences: first, the amortizations are based on the original loan amounts and do not include any capitalized interest from in-school accrual, grace, or deferment periods. Second, you may have borrowed more than what was calculated as need-based loans. Any amount over and above your need-based loans is ineligible for participation in the HBS Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

My financial aid award letters from when I was a student indicate $99,999 for a student contribution. The LRAP eligibility calculation is using a higher amount. Why?

The software that prints the award letters is currently limited to a maximum of $99,999. The amount indicated in the LRAP eligibility calculation is the true calculated amount of your student contribution.

I have a variable interest rate loan. What happens when rates change?

HBS amortizes on the current rate at the time of issuing the check. HBS will not ask for the return of funds if rates drop, nor will HBS provide additional funds in case of a mid-cycle rate rise. Checks are to be used in their entirety to pay towards your HBS educational loan debt.

How will I receive my award payment?

All award payments are made by check and sent via U.S. Mail. If you have not received a check after 60 days from the date of your award notice, please call 617-495-6640. If you are moving, make sure to file a postal forwarding order.

Do you have any advice on writing my donor thank-you letter?

Donors appreciate hearing about your work and how the loan assistance program has supported your career path. You may model your letter on the donor thank-you letters you wrote as an enrolled student with added personalized information on your job and how you've applied your HBS education.

I participated in the HBS-HMS pilot program to reduce debt for medical residents, thus have already received generous assistance from HBS in addition to in-school aid. Am I still eligible to apply for LRAP?

Yes. If your application is approved you will receive a reduced payment (eight months instead of twelve). This reduction reflects the funds you've received under the HBS-HMS pilot program.