Note: The Federal Perkins Loan Program ended on
September 30, 2015. No new loans can be issued after that date.
Some students who previously obtained loans may continue to receive
payments to continue or complete their studies.
A college-based loan, the Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest
rate loan for students. Perkins funds are very limited and reserved
only for students with the highest financial need as determined by
completing and filing the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . Not all
colleges participate in the Perkins loan program.
When you accept a Perkins Loan, signing the Master
Promissory Note (MPN) is your promise to repay the loan. Before
any funds are disbursed to you, you must attend an
entrance counseling session that explains the terms and
conditions of the loan (your college will advise you how to fulfill
interest on Perkins loans is fixed at 5%. Your scheduled
payments will begin nine months after you graduate, drop below
half-time enrollment, or leave school (the nine months between
graduation and beginning payment is called a "
grace period"). Although you normally have up to 10 years to
repay these loans, there are repayment plans that may give you
additional time depending upon the amount you borrow. Remember
however, the more time you take to repay your loan the more
interest you will end up paying.
The maximum amount of money you can borrow as an undergraduate
is $5,500 per year with a combined total limit of $27,500. The
amount you can borrow as a graduate or professional student in a
single year is $8,000 and cannot exceed $60,000, which includes
what you borrowed as an undergraduate. While the program provides
for these maximum amounts, because of limited funds availability
students seldom receive maximum awards. To repay a Perkins Loan you
will usually pay the college through its Perkins Loan servicer.
How can I get more information?
For more information on Student Financial Assistance Programs,
contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center:
Phone: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
Spanish speakers are available.