So after my last blog post sharing online calculators that can assist you in every permutation of loan repayment, I realized I forgot to showcase the MOST important online calculator of all… our new COAP Calculator.
It was a long time in the making and I want to especially thank Syed Alli from the YLS IT Department for not only developing the online capacity for the calculator, but also for taking the time to understand the overall complexities and inner workings of the COAP program itself.
You will notice that on the last screen of the calculator there is a large “disclaimer” (seriously, I hang around with enough lawyers to know I need a disclaimer) basically reinforcing – that the online calculator is meant to only provide a possible estimate of COAP funding support and should not be construed as a promise or commitment of future COAP support. And, of course, actual COAP awards are only made based on a full review of a submitted COAP application.
That being said, the online calculator can give you a good, general idea of COAP support based on your specific debt and anticipated income. To use the calculator:
Step 1- Annual Income– begin by entering your projected COAP income. Notice there is a pencil icon next to this field which when opened drives you to the Annual Income Calculator where you can enter your income, spouse income, income exclusions for children and assets and then populates the Annual Income field for you.
Step 2– Income Growth Rate– you choose the percentage by which you want your income to increase per year. The system defaults to 5%.
Step 3– Loan Amount– enter your total amount of either actual or anticipated loan debt. To find your current loan debt – go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
Step 4- Interest Rate– enter an estimated or actual weighted average interest rate. Want to calculate a weighted average for your combined loans- visit the finaid.org consolidation calculator.
When you select “Calculate Repayment Plan” the calculator will then display:
Screen 1 – a reminder of the Participant Contribution table used in all awards
Screen 2– a chart with your individual loan repayment plan showing the annual COAP payout and then your portion of that payout versus the YLS institutional contribution.
Screen 3– a bar graph image of your individual COAP loan repayment plan
The COAP calculator is a good starting point in understanding how COAP can support your loan repayment. Note that the calculator is specific to COAP guidelines and policies for anyone admitted after September 1, 2011. For a more specific projection (one that might factor changes in employment, marriage and children as they happen throughout your ten years of COAP eligibility) I would encourage you to set up an appointment with our office so that we can “delve into the weeds” of your own repayment and COAP options.
The online calculator was a tool that was high in demand from both new admit students seeking to compare LRAP programs (of which we know COAP is the best!) , as well as 3Ls on the brink of actual loan repayment. So we are extremely happy to see it actualized. Use it well!