Print/PDF this page:

Print Friendly and PDF

Share this page:

Career Options Assistance Program (COAP)

Who COAP Serves

From 1989 through 2014, more than 1,500 Yale Law School graduates have participated in COAP, receiving over $49 million in benefits. In 2014 alone, COAP disbursed $4.3 million in benefits to over 435 graduates.

YLS alumni in COAP have recently worked for (among many others):

  • The U.S. State Department
  • The ACLU
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Private firms in Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, and Seattle, Washington
  • The Texas Defender Service
  • The New York State Attorney General
  • The NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Note: Deferred students should refer to COAP terms specific to the class year to which they were originally admitted.

COAP Highlights

COAP is:

- open to all recent Yale Law School graduates
- includes all jobs in all sectors – public interest, government, academia and private practice

- covers law school loans
- includes some undergraduate loans

- 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

Family Friendly
- up to six months maternity/paternity leave per new child
- deductions are provided for child/dependent care

Further COAP details and descriptions by class

If you are unable to log in to COAP and need to recover your NetID or password, please visit the Yale NetID portal.

Access the recording of our 10/17 webinar:
"Frequently Asked Questions- Federal Loan Consolidation and Refinancing (and COAP!)"

Note- new COAP policy change regarding refinanced federal student loans effective as of January- July 2015 COAP cycle. Details on this policy change are included in all Policy and Procedure Manuals below under "Eligible Loans".

COAP Information for Students Admitted Post-September 1, 2011*:

COAP Information for Classes of 2010–2014*:

COAP Information for Classes of 2009 and Earlier*

*Note- Includes "deferred" students- refer to terms of class year to which you were originally admitted

COAP General FAQs (for Alumni)

COAP Application Page (login required)

If you are unable to log in to COAP and need to recover your NetID or password, please visit the Yale NetID portal.


Who can receive COAP?
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.

Does COAP cover volunteer positions?
No. One of the requirements of COAP is that you must be employed.

What are the annual deadlines for applying for COAP?
Deadlines for continuing participants:
First half - January 15th (for January through July awards)
Second half - 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.

How do I apply?
Complete the online application at https://coap.law.yale.edu/ 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.

How are awards calculated?
Awards are calculated based on your adjusted income and your debts. For more details, please see the specific program description above.

Some of my loans are still in the grace period. Can I still apply for COAP?
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 ends, 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.

I want to submit my application for the first half of the year, but my tax return will not be completed for a couple of months. Can I still apply?
Yes, you should be sure to apply before the January 15 deadline. The tax return is required with the second disbursement cycle application.

What documents do I need to send to you to complete my 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 recent pay stub or a letter from your employer), current lender statements, and other financial information. You must also include a copy of your tax return once it is completed.

I have the same lender for all of my loans and they send me one single bill but when I go to “Manage Documents” is requires me to submit a statement for each loan. What should I do?
You may upload the same document for each loan that is listed.

How long does the application process take? When will I receive a check?
You should expect to receive your check 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.

How are funds disbursed? Do you pay my lenders directly or do you send a check to me?
COAP awards 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 the Law School.

How often is money disbursed?
We disburse COAP awards to participants twice in a calendar year. The 1st disbursement cycle covers January- July. After you update your application and required documents, you will receive a second disbursement to cover August through December.

What if my job does not start until the middle of a cycle?
If you start a new job, you can apply for COAP in the middle of the cycle, up to one month prior to the beginning of your employment.

What if I change jobs in the middle of the cycle?
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.

What if I know in January that I will be changing jobs in March or that my job will be ending and I may be unemployed?
When you complete the online application you will be able to enter the start and end date 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.

What happens if I go back to school?
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.

Are COAP awards for graduates in fellowships taxable?
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. nonprofit 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.