John R. Justice Student Loan Forgiveness Program
The 2021 application period for the JOHN R. JUSTICE STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM (“JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program”) will soon open. For general information about the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program, visit the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance website. Please check back for updates or contact SCCPC Director of Business Services and Communications with program questions.
The JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program is named for the late South Carolina Solicitor John R. Justice, and is authorized in Public Law 110-315, Part JJ, dated August 14, 2008, 42 USC 3797cc-21. The JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program seeks to attract and retain talented attorneys as prosecutors and public defenders, in spite of their substantial student loan debt. Accordingly, the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance for state and local prosecutors; state, local and federal public defenders; and employees of nonprofit organizations operating under state or local government contracts who provide legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases. Repayment benefits cannot exceed $10,000 in a calendar year with a total aggregate not to exceed $60,000. Eligible attorneys must agree to remain employed as prosecutors and defenders for at least three years. The South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination administers the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program for South Carolina.
Eligible education loans include:
- Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- FFELP and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
- FFELP and Direct Consolidation Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
Non-eligible loans include:
- Federal Parent PLUS Loans
- Federal Consolidation Loans used to repay Federal Parent PLUS Loans
- Defaulted student loans
- Non-federal student loans (private, commercial or alternative student loans)
- Any eligible loan that has been paid in full
Once available, applicants must electronically submit a completed application and all required attachments to the South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination by the set due date. All applicants must complete a service agreement and provide documentation of the applicant’s student loan debt obligations. By signing the service agreement, the applicant acknowledges the program requires a three-year service commitment and the benefit must be repaid if the service commitment is not fulfilled, as well as other stipulations contained in the service agreement.
Award Selection and Process
All timely and complete applications will be reviewed for program eligibility once the application period has closed. Eligible applicants will be identified based on eligibility requirements set forth in the application. Once deemed eligible, applicants are ordered based on a set of factors impacting one’s ability to repay such as the income to debt ratio. Annual award amounts are contingent upon available funding.
Award monies are paid directly to the lender or servicer of the loan upon execution of the service agreement required for participation in the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program. As required by the grant, the award money is intended to supplement, not substitute, the recipient’s personal student loan obligation. All awards are subject to federal funding of the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program.
Note on Taxes: Any Loan Repayment award may result in tax implications. Please consult with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax advisor.