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Federal Perkins Loan

Wind-down of the Federal Perkins Loan Program

Federal legislation was passed in December 2015, extending the Federal Perkins Loan Program through September 30, 2017 and establishing these new guidelines for undergraduate and graduate students:

  • A current undergraduate student who meets all eligibility requirements and who – on the date of disbursement – has an outstanding balance on a Perkins Loan that was made by the same college from which a Perkins Loan is now being requested, and for whom all Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan aid for which the student is eligible has been awarded, may receive Perkins Loans through September 30, 2017.
  • A new undergraduate student who meets all eligibility requirements and who – on the date of disbursement – does not have an outstanding balance on a Perkins Loan that was made by the same college from which a Perkins Loan is now being requested, and for whom all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan aid for which the student is eligible has been awarded, may receive Perkins Loans through September 30, 2017.
  • A graduate student who meets all eligibility requirements, has received a Perkins Loan before October 1, 2015 and whose most recent Perkins Loan was made for enrollment in an academic program at the same college from which a Perkins Loan is now being requested, may receive Perkins Loans through September 30, 2016 if the Perkins Loan will enable the student to continue or complete the same academic program for which the student received his or her most recent Perkins Loan.

The legislation also prohibits colleges from making Perkins Loans on or after October 1, 2017, except for subsequent disbursements in certain situations.
                                                                                                                       
Students with questions regarding their eligibility for a Federal Perkins Loan should contact the financial aid office at their college.


The Federal Perkins Loan has a low interest rate and a longer grace period than the other educational loans, and allows you to borrow up to $5,500 (undergraduate study) or $8,000 (graduate study) annually. This loan is available to undergraduate and graduate student who demonstrate exceptional financial need, and must be repaid to the school with the low interest rate of five percent (please be sure to read the information provided in the box above, entitled “Wind-down of the Federal Perkins Loan Program,” for important updates regarding this program). Repayment begins nine months after you’ve graduated or dropped below half-time enrollment status. The minimum monthly payment is $40 per month. Apply for the Federal Perkins Loan by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Your college is the lender for the loan, so you will be asked to sign a promissory note and will receive the loan funds from your college.

In some instances, you may be eligible to postpone your loan payment by receiving a deferment. During a period of deferment the federal government will pay the interest on your loan.

A Federal Perkins Loan may be cancelled in part or whole under certain conditions. Loan cancellation, forgiveness, or discharge is granted by the U.S. Department of Education.

You can receive both a Federal Perkins and a Federal Stafford loan in the same academic year, provided you meet all eligibility requirements.

Additional information regarding the Federal Perkins Loan is available online via the U.S. Department of Education's “Do You Need Money for College? The Guide to Federal Student Aid” publication, which may be accessed via the Information on College Preparation and the Federal Student Aid Programs section of the Resources page at Federal Student Aid’s StudentAid.gov. You may also visit the Federal Perkins Loans section at StudentAid.gov.

Click here to access the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).