Scholarships and fellowships established by alumni and friends provide critical resources for recruiting students who belong at Michigan Law and for easing their debt burden upon graduation. In appreciation, we are pleased to name scholarships and fellowships for donors or for anyone else whom they wish to honor. By raising additional endowment funds for student assistance through our campaign, we are seeking to ensure the School's greatness for generations to come.
To keep Michigan Law great, we must continue to recruit and admit the best students, who inspire one another and the faculty who teach them. We must also ensure that every student whom we want to admit to Michigan Law can afford this superb educational opportunity. To do so, it is necessary to offer financial aid packages to ease the burden of the high cost of today's legal education. Today, many Michigan Law students graduate with educational debt loads of $90,000 or more. All gifts of any size for scholarships help enlarge the pool of funds available for financial aid, which in turn reduces the amount that students have to take out in loans.
The Law School is seeking to endow the Dean's Public Service Fellowship program, which assists up to 20 second-year students annually. Eligible recipients must have a demonstrated commitment to public service and must intend to seek public interest or governmental employment during the summer after their second year of school in preparation for a public service law career. Fellows receive a $5,000 cash award.
We also welcome private gifts to help fund the Debt Management Program, which has a goal of allowing graduates to take the legal jobs they want to do regardless of debt. Typically, these jobs are in public service, social service, and government, but eligible graduates may hold any job that requires a J.D. degree. By helping cover the difference between the recipients' loan payments and what they are able to pay from their salaries, the Debt Management Program provides assistance at a critical juncture in the careers of these alumni. With increasing numbers of Michigan Law graduates choosing public interest law as a career path, funding the Debt Management Program at a sufficient level is more important than ever.