COAP Highlights & FAQs

COAP Highlights


  • Open to all recent Yale Law School graduates
  • Includes eligible jobs in all sectors – public interest, government, academia and private practice


  • No minimum participation commitment
  • Participants can move in and out of the program as needs change
  • Part-time work may be covered
  • Individual circumstances and special needs are taken into account


  • Covers law school loans (federal, institutional, and private) processed by YLS Financial Aid Office
  • Includes some undergraduate loans

Family Friendly

  • Up to six months maternity/paternity leave per new child
  • Deductions are provided for child/dependent care


To qualify to apply for COAP assistance, you must have graduated from Yale Law School, be employed and be in good standing with the Law School and with your student loan lender(s). Awards are based on your income and debt burden.

No. One of the requirements of COAP is that you must be gainfully employed and receiving an income.

Deadlines for continuing participants:

First half opens November 1st and will close May 31st with a deadline of January 15th (for January through July awards)

Second half opens June 1st and will close October 31st with a deadline of August 1st (for August through December awards).

Deadlines for new applicants:

New applicants may apply at any time, once you:

  1. secure a COAP qualifying position and
  2. are in repayment on your student loans.

Complete the online application and submit the required supporting documentation. If you need assistance with your NetID and password, please contact Roselyn Llanos-Robles at roselyn.llanos@yale.edu.

Awards are calculated based on your adjusted income and your student loan debt. For more details, please see the specific program description above.

You may apply for assistance for the loans that are in the mandatory repayment period, but not for loans that are still in the grace period. Once the grace period on those loans end, you may update your application to request additional assistance. When you complete the Educational Loan Information section of the application, you will be asked for the grace period dates for all of your loans.

Yes, you should be sure to apply before the January 15th deadline. The tax return is required with the second disbursement cycle application.

Once you submit your online application, it will generate a customized list of required documents, based on your application. In general, you will need to submit verification of your salary (a copy of a current pay stub or an up-to-date employer letter that states your current annual salary), current lender statements, and other pertinent financial information. You must also include a copy of your tax return once it is completed (required for COAP second half cycle) .

You may upload the same document for each loan that is listed.

You should expect to receive your award letter within 4-6 weeks of submitting your completed application and required documents. It is advisable to apply early when the application cycle opens to insure timely processing of your application. If the COAP award is taxable and after receiving the award letter, the participant should receive the COAP payment within a week. Please note, for taxable awards and when applying for the first half (November 1st) of the COAP cycle (January through July), a payment will not be processed until after January 1st. If the award is non-taxable, the COAP payment cannot be processed until the signed promissory note has been received.

COAP payments are mailed directly to the participant. It is the participant’s responsibility to make all payments on student loans and to remain in good standing with the lenders and with Yale Law School.

We disburse COAP payments to participants twice in a calendar year. The 1st disbursement cycle covers January through July. After you update your application and required documents, you will receive a second disbursement to cover August through December.

If you start a new job, you can apply for COAP in the middle of the cycle. Please note only if the cycle you are applying for is currently open and accepting applications, up to one month prior to the beginning of your employment. COAP cycles - first half closes on May 31st; second half closes on October 31st.

You must update your application online within 30 days of the change. Please login and click on "submit status change" to submit a change to your COAP application. If necessary, we will recalculate your award.

When you complete the online application you will be able to enter the start and end dates of your current job and then add another job with a new start date (or you can check “unemployed”). If you are a currently participating in COAP and become unemployed, we will extend your COAP benefits for up to three months during a period of unemployment.

If you go back to school, you are required to obtain in-school deferments for your loans. In the rare case that your student loans do not offer an in-school deferment, please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the situation.

The determination of whether COAP awards are taxable for graduates in fellowships is based on what entity is formally employing the fellow. In those positions where fellows are employed by U.S. non-profit agencies holding 501(c)(3) status other than Yale University (whether in the U.S. or abroad), the COAP award is considered non-taxable. However, in those positions where fellows are Yale employees (even while working on behalf of third party organizations or federal governmental agency through an IPA agreement) the award is taxable. COAP awards for fellows employed by an international NGO, intergovernmental agency or foreign charity (without a U.S. 501 (c)(3) status) are also considered taxable. In addition, COAP awards for fellows employed by a non 501(c)(3) agency are taxable. Those students with taxable COAP awards will be issued a 1099-MISC form for the amount of their COAP award annually for tax purposes. We highly encourage fellows to contact the Financial Aid Office before making your COAP application so that we may assist in identifying/confirming their employment entity and verifying the COAP taxable status of the award.

The Career Options Assistance Program

About COAP

The Career Options Assistance Program

Highlights & Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

COAP Highlights & FAQs

Highlights & Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Information Specific to Each Entering Class

COAP Descriptions by Class

Information Specific to Each Entering Class

Yale Law School's Program Maximizes Career Flexibility

What Makes COAP Unique

Yale Law School's Program Maximizes Career Flexibility

More Than 1,500 Graduates Have Participated in COAP

Who Uses COAP?

More Than 1,500 Graduates Have Participated in COAP

An Estimated Projection Of Possible Funding Support

COAP Calculator

An Estimated Projection Of Possible Funding Support

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