Perkins loans are low interest student loans provided to students with exceptional financial need. Perkins loans are funded by the U.S. government but are individually disbursed by participating colleges and universities. The terms are highly favourable with a flexible cancellation policy therefore they are reserved for students with the greatest financial need.
Part-time and full-time undergraduate, graduate and professional students with exceptional financial need are eligible to receive Perkins Loans. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or eligible non-citizen students. Eligible students must attend a school participating in the Perkins Loan Program. Students must not currently be in default of any Title IV loan or grant and must successfully meet Selective Service Requirements when applicable.
The interest rate is currently at a 5% fixed rate.
The amount of money you can borrow is determined by your financial need as stated in your FAFSA application as well as the amount of funds available at your participating school. Undergraduate students can borrow up to $5500 per year depending on part-time or full-time enrollment. The maximum loan amount is $27,000 for the entire duration as an undergraduate student.
Graduate students can borrow up to $8000 per year. The maximum loan amount is $60,000 for the entire duration as a graduate student.
You are not required to start paying back your loan until 9 months after you graduate or leave school for any reason or are attending classes less than half-time.
The first step in applying for a Federal Perkins Loan is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. The FAFSA application can be completed on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to receive a paper application or at your local library or participating post-secondary institution.