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Home > Paying for College > Financial Aid You Don't Repay > Aid for Students with Special Circumstances > Federal John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

 

Federal John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program


 

If you are going to apply for this program, you will be asked if you have read this page before you can apply.

The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program is a federal program administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The purpose of the program is to encourage lawyers to enter and be retained as full-time public defenders and public criminal prosecutors. Selected recipients will receive educational loan repayments in exchange for agreeing to serve full-time as a public prosecutor or defender in Minnesota for three additional years.

Currently the program provides funding for educational loan repayment to approximately 16 public prosecutors and 16 public defenders in Minnesota each year. Awards are distributed to applicants with the least ability to repay their student loans within each of the ten judicial districts statewide and the appellate office for public defenders and within each of the ten judicial districts statewide for public criminal prosecutors.

The program accepts applications from lawyers who have already worked as a public prosecutor or public defender for at least three years. Retroactive work does not count toward the three year service commitment.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Applicants must have worked full-time (Full-time is defined as at least 30 hours a week for a year or 1560 hours for the entire year) as one of the following for at least three years and will be working full time as one of the following for the duration of the three year service commitment:

  • Employee of the state of Minnesota or unit of local government (including tribal government) who prosecutes criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at the state or unit of local government level, including supervision, education, or training of other persons prosecuting such cases. Prosecutors who are employees of the federal government are not eligible; or
  • Employee of the state of Minnesota or unit of local government (including tribal government) who provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases including supervision, education, or training of other persons providing such representation; or
  • Employee of a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with Minnesota or unit of local government who devotes substantially all of the employee's full-time employment to providing legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile cases including supervision, education, or training of other persons providing such representation; or
  • Lawyer employed in Minnesota as a full-time federal defender attorney in a defender organization pursuant to Subsection (g) of section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code, that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Have an outstanding balance on an eligible educational loan.
  • Not be in default on repayment of any student loans.
  • Have worked full-time for at least three years as a public defender or a public criminal prosecutor.

What's the Application Process?

You complete an online application. Applicants may be requested to provide additional documentation to verify the information provided on the application.

What's the Selection Process?

Currently, the program selects approximately 16 public prosecutors and 16 public defenders in Minnesota each year for awards. Awards are distributed to applicants with the least ability to repay their student loans within each of the ten judicial districts statewide and the appellate office for public defenders and within each of the ten judicial districts statewide for public criminal prosecutors. Priority consideration is given to previous recipients as well as applicants who are fluent in Spanish, Somali, Hmong or American Sign Language.

Provided federal funds continue to be available, selected recipients are eligible for renewal awards for up to two additional years. To be eligible for renewal awards, selected recipients must complete a renewal application by the stated deadline and continue to meet the obligations of the signed service agreement.

How much money can you get?

The annual loan repayment award varies each year based on the amount of federal funds awarded to the State of Minnesota by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Based on the federal funds available for Fiscal Year 2013, selected recipients are expected to receive an annual loan repayment award of approximately $1,700. Provided federal funding remains available, selected recipients who continue to meet the obligations of the three-year service commitment are eligible to renew their award for up to two additional years. Selected recipients who fail to meet the obligations of the three year service agreement will be required to repay to the Department of Justice the total amount of the repayments received.

More Information

This project is supported by a grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the SMART Office, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions Last update: 12/2/2013

Federal Programs to Assist with Student Loan Repayment

Apply Now for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program.

 

More Information