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Federal Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loans

The Perkins Loan program was extended in the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 on December 18, 2015. No new Perkins Loans will be made after September 30, 2017. Perkins Loans are:

  • Low-interest loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
  • Made with government funds through a school's financial aid office, and the school acts as the lender.
  • You are not responsible for paying the interest on the loan during in-school, grace, and deferment periods.

Interest rate

Perkins Loans have a fixed interest rate of five percent.

Loan limits

The actual amount you'll receive depends upon your financial need and the school's level of funding.

Undergraduate students

  • Up to $5,500 a year
  • The Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 created new Perkins Loan eligibility criteria:
    • If you have an outstanding balance on a Perkins Loan at the school, the school will award you a Direct Subsidized Loan before a Perkins Loan.*
    • If you do not have an outstanding balance on a Perkins Loan, the school will award you all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for which you are eligible before a Perkins Loan.*
  • Aggregate (cumulative) loan limits of $27,500

Graduate/professional students

  • Up to $8,000 a year
  • Per the Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2015, eligible graduate students who received a Perkins Loan before October 1, 2015 may continue to receive Perkins Loans to continue or complete the academic program for which the student received the most recent Perkins Loan.*
  • Aggregate (cumulative) loan limits for undergraduate and graduate combined of $60,000

Non-undergraduate or non-graduate/professional students

  • Aggregrate (cumulative) loan limits of $11,000

*You may choose not to borrow the Direct Loan(s), but the Direct Loans will be included in the eligibility calculation for the Perkins Loan.

Repayment

Learn more about Perkins Loan repayment.

Deferment and forbearance

If certain special circumstances arise that make it temporarily difficult for you to make your loan payments, you may qualify for a deferment or forbearance.

Cancellation, forgiveness, and discharge

Learn more about cancellation of Perkins Loans.

More information

Contact your school's financial aid office for more information.

Forms

Federal Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN; PDF)