New applicants with LIPP-qualifying employment can enter the program at any time by submitting a New Application along with the supporting documentation described below. New applicants should apply no later than 1 month before their first payment is due in order to allow us enough time to calculate LIPP eligibility and to ensure the information provided is as accurate as possible. Your LIPP eligibility begins when you are legally obligated to start repayment (after you have exhausted periods of deferment and grace periods), you enter a LIPP eligible job, AND the LIPP office receives a complete application.
Participants continuing in the LIPP program must submit an application for LIPP assistance twice a year. The standard application deadlines for LIPP assistance are mid-November for the January – June cycle, and early June for the July – December cycle, in order to guarantee a timely check. LIPP funding is not retroactive and will not be processed to cover loan payments incurred before a complete application is received. Participants must apply before the end of a given month in order to be considered eligible for assistance in that month.
A completed application is defined as the combination of the online application with all required documents in a status of “Accepted.” In the SFS Self-Service Portal you will be able to review a list of the documents you are required to submit, which is based on the information you provide in your online application. Links to all of the required documents are available in Step 2 below. The Self-Service Portal is secure and will be used for the direct upload of required LIPP documents. Periodic email reminders will be sent to participants to log in and check the status of their documents, but it is the responsibility of the participant to submit completed documents in a timely manner and to check regularly on whether documents in a status of “Waiting for Document Review” have been accepted by LIPP staff. We recommend all applicants log in to the SFS Self-Service Portal regularly to monitor their document and application statuses to avoid any delays in the processing of LIPP funding.
Things to Know Before You Apply
Before you apply for LIPP, whether it’s your first time or tenth, it’s a good idea to review the application requirements and gather necessary documentation. First-time applicants should take special notice of the links below, and all applicants should remember LIPP is not processed retroactively so it’s important to complete your application and submit your documentation on time!
Step 1: The Online LIPP Application
The online LIPP Application may be accessed via the SFS Self-Service Portal which requires a Harvard Key. This Application allows you to save and complete over the course of multiple sessions. Please be sure to review the Pre-Application Information Sheet before starting! After you submit the Application, you may view a copy of your submission, upload the required documents that have been generated for you, and check the status of your LIPP Application in real time through the Self-Service Portal.
Step 2: Supporting Documentation
Applicants must provide supporting documentation to verify the information provided via the online LIPP Application. Please use the relevant checklist below to ensure your application for assistance is complete; your eligibility will not be reviewed until the online application and all supporting documentation is received.
Documents may be quickly and securely uploaded via the SFS Self-Service Portal.
LIPP Eligibility Notification
Applicants should receive a LIPP eligibility notification email 1-2 weeks after being notified their application is complete.
- Generally, notices are sent on Tuesdays.
- If you have not received a LIPP eligibility notification email within 2 weeks of the email notifying you your file was complete please contact us.
Funds are requested the same day the notification email is sent unless specifically noted otherwise in the email. In order to receive your LIPP funds you must be registered in our Buy2Pay (B2P) system. If you are a new participant you will receive an email invitation to register; if you are a returning participant you will need to ensure that your registration is active and your address is accurate prior to submitting your application.
LIPP funds can be disbursed in two different ways:
- Participants with a US bank account can sign up for direct deposit through Zelle. If your bank is not associated with Zelle you can link your debit card to receive your funds. This is the preferred method of payment as it is the fastest and most secure way.
- Participants who cannot sign up for Zelle, or do not wish to, can opt to receive a paper check.
- If the funds are not received within 3 weeks of the day they were requested (date of the eligibility notification email) please contact us.
LIPP funding is disbursed as either forgivable loans or taxable amounts. A participant’s type of disbursement is determined by employment type. Those participants with forgivable loans will receive a promissory note with their eligibility notification which they should sign via the DocuSign function of the SFS Self-Service Portal. DocuSign reminder emails will be sent periodically to participants who have not yet signed their promissory notes.
If there are any changes to a participant’s situation the participant should submit an Adjustment Application via the Self-Service Portal as soon as possible so a recalculation of eligibility can be done.
- Participants eligible for additional funding will receive an email notification of their award adjustment and the supplemental funds will be requested the same day. Smaller adjustments may be added to the next LIPP cycle, especially if it is close to the opening of the next one.
- Participants whose changes result in a reduction of eligibility will receive an email notification of the change in the amount and options for repayment of the funds.
Examples of changes for which the LIPP office must be notified include:
- Change in marital status
- Change in employment (for participant and/or spouse)
- Change in income (for participant and/or spouse)
- Birth of a child
- Change in childcare expenses
- Change in assets (purchase of a home, inheritance, etc.)
An example of an adjustment can be found on Amount of LIPP Funding.
Should a participant become ineligible for LIPP through a change of employment, income, marital status, assets, or required loan payments, he or she will need to Exit LIPP by completing the online Exit Form within the SFS Self-Service Portal and uploading required exit documentation. Using this form we will verify whether the participant was eligible for all of the LIPP funding they received during the last cycle in which they participated.
If a repayment is required by the participant, for example if there was a change in status 4 months into the 6 month award cycle, we will notify them of the repayment owed. Once any necessary repayment is complete we will close the participant’s LIPP file. This means we will no longer send reminders about applying for LIPP; however, if there is a change is circumstances graduates may always reapply for assistance.