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The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is the designated agency to administer the John R. Justice (JRJ) Student Repayment Program for the State of Indiana. The purpose of the program is to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as prosecutors and public defenders and to continue in that service. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has provided funding under the FY 2014-15 JRJ Program in the amount of $34,238.
The JRJ program provides for a single payment toward eligible educational loans for full-time federal or state defenders and state or municipal prosecutors, including appellate lawyers, who are continually licensed to practice law in Indiana.
Eligible recipients must enter a service obligation with the U.S. Department of Justice agreeing to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years in order to receive a payment under this program. Failure to fulfill the employment commitment will require repayment of the full amount received by the recipient to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Federal student loans (both FFEL and Direct loans) are eligible for assistance; however, loans in default, Parent PLUS loans, and private, commercial, or alternative student loans are not eligible.
Find out what kind of student loans you have:
· Request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Department of Education: www.pin.ed.gov
· Use the PIN to look up your federal student loans in the National Student Loan Data System: www.nslds.ed.gov
· Check for commercial student loans, which will not appear in the National Student Loan Data System. Commercial loans are not eligible for forgiveness. www.annualcreditreport.com
Eligible applicants must submit an application packet by March 2, 2015 to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Click here to download and complete the application
The total JRJ Program funding amount of $34,238 will be divided equally between eligible prosecutors and public defenders per OJP requirements. The base award amount will be approximately $1,000 per recipient. Therefore, no more than 34 eligible applicants will receive the award funding for FY 2014-15.
Awards will be distributed to those least able to repay their loans, but will be spread among geographic and population density to ensure that funding is not isolated or heavily concentrated in any particular geographic section of the state.
The methodology that will be used to assess an applicant’s ability to repay their student loans will be to consider the ratio of an applicant’s total eligible educational debt to an applicant’s adjusted gross income. A cost of living adjustment will be made for each applicant by county. The minimum ratio needed to receive benefits will be determined after all applications are received and the numbers of applications is compared with the total amount of funding available.
JRJ award recipients that do not fulfill the U.S. Department of Justice service agreement must report their ineligible status to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness:
The disbursement of the JRJ Program funding may conflict or disrupt the terms of other repayment assistance or forgiveness programs such as the Income-Based Repayment, Income Contingent Repayment, Standard 10-year Repayment. Therefore applicants are encouraged to discuss the impact that accepting this award may have with their lender/servicer prior to applying for the program.
For further information about the Indiana JRJ Program, contact Natalie Robinson via email at Natalie.Robinson@atg.in.gov.
For more information on the federal program see the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, John R. Justice Official Site.