federal perkins loan program

Posted : January 21, 2015
Last Updated : January 21, 2015
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federal perkins loan program

Federal Perkins loans are low-interest student loans awarded through participating institutions to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Unlike most scholarships and grants, all student loans – including Perkins loans – must be repaid.

Application Process
To apply for a Federal Perkins loan (and all federal, state, and some institutional financial aid programs), you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st of the year for which you are requesting aid. Due to limited funds, not everyone who qualifies for a Perkins loan will receive one, so you should make every effort to submit the FAFSA by your school's priority deadline.

Eligibility Requirements
You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a Federal Perkins loan. To qualify, you must:

  • Be an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student with exceptional financial need.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time or part-time student.
  • Be attending a school that participates in the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service if you are male aged 18-25.

Loan Amounts
If you are an undergraduate student, you may be eligible to receive up to $5,500 a year. If you are a graduate or professional student, you may be eligible to receive up to $8,000 per year. The amount you can borrow depends on:

  • Your financial need.
  • The amount of other aid you receive.
  • The availability of funds at your school.

Interest Rate
The Perkins loan has a 5% fixed interest rate and no loan fee.

Loan Disbursement
The school is the lender of the Federal Perkins loan. If eligible, your school will apply your loan funds to your school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, your school will disburse a refund directly to you.

Repayment
Repayment of the Federal Perkins loan begins after your nine-month grace period. The grace period begins any time you are not enrolled at least half time (with the exception of summer). You will make your payments to the school that made your loan or your school's loan servicer. Deferments, forbearances, and loan cancellation options are available under certain circumstances.

Keep in mind that not all schools participate in the Federal Perkins Loan Program. To find out if your school offers this loan program and to obtain more information, be sure to contact your school's financial aid office.


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