Federal Perkins Student Loans

Perkins student loans were federal student college loans for low-income students. Usually these loans were made to students who demonstrate financial need, and who are also awarded Pell Grants. However, it was possible to receive a Federal Perkins Loan without a Pell Grant.

This program ended on September 30, 2017. Prior recipients have 10 years to repay the loans at 5% interest rate.

Last updated on July 17, 2024 by College Financial Aid Advice.

Perkins Student Loan

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A Perkins student loan is a type of student college loan made to students with exceptional financial need, based upon the student's FAFSA financial aid application. Funds are provided by the federal government for these loans. The interest rate for Perkins loans is 5%, and payments begin 9 months after you graduate or leave college.

Many schools do not receive sufficient Perkins loan funds to provide to all qualified students, so it is important to submit your FAFSA early.

How much money could you get? Undergraduates may receive a maximum of $5000 per year, with a limit of $27,500 overall. Graduate students may receive up to $8,000 per year to a maximum of $60,000 in federal Perkins loans.

Unlike Pell Grants, a Perkins student loan must be repaid. Payment terms vary up to 10 years, and some Perkin loans may qualify for deferment or loan forgiveness.

Perkins Student Loan Application and Eligibility

In general, to qualify for a Perkins loan, you must meet the Pell Grant Requirements. The application is the same as the FAFSA Application. Each college or university determines who will receive the Perkins student loans, and how large of an award will be given. Funds are limited so not all eligible applicants will receive a Perkins student loan.

This program ended on September 30, 2017. Prior recipients have 10 years to repay the loans at 5% interest rate.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates on federal student loans was temporarily reduced to 0% from March 13 2020 to December 31, 2022. Payments are now required.

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