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Home > Paying for College > Financial Aid You Must Repay (Student Loans) > Federal Perkins Loan

 

Federal Perkins Loan


 

The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides long-term, low interest (five percent) loans to undergraduate and graduate students demonstrate financial need and enroll in participating schools.

Who Is Eligible?

Undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half time at participating schools are eligible for this program. Some schools may make loans available to part-time students and, in some cases, to students attending less than half time. For undergraduate students, priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.

You also must meet certain conditions to receive federal aid. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

How Much Money Can You Get?

The loan amount depends on the availability of funds at your school, your financial need and the amount of other aid you receive.

  • Undergraduate students may borrow up to $5,500 per year and $27,500 in total.

  • Graduate and professional students may borrow up to $8,000 per year and $60,000 in total.

  • Students studying abroad may be eligible to borrow larger amounts.

What's the Application Process?

You apply to the financial aid office at the school you attend. Not all schools participate in the Perkins Loan Program. Each school has its own application deadline, and serves as the loan's lender. The Perkins Loans do not have an origination fee.

What's the Repayment Process?

You begin repaying the loan nine months after you graduate or leave school. If you return to school, you have six months before you start repaying on previous loans. You may be allowed up to 10 years to repay your loan.

The amount of the monthly payment depends on the size of the debt and the length of the repayment period.

Part or all of the loan can be deferred or canceled under certain conditions, such as:

  • If you teach children with disabilities.
  • If you teach full-time in a designated elementary or secondary school that serves low income students.

You must seek approval for these provisions from your school.