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Perkins Loans

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 this requirement).

The 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:

Internet: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/perkinsNew window icon
Phone: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
TTY: 1-800-730-8913

Spanish speakers are available.