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Federal Perkins Loan

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.  Repayment is deferred until 9 months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status (does not include summer sessions). This need-based loan is funded by the federal government but administered by Radford University.

You can find more information on this loan program on the Federal Student Aid website under Perkins Loans

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Perkins Loan Program -

  1. How do I know if I am eligible for a Perkins Loan?
    Complete the FAFSA, your EFC is calculated by completing the FAFSA and will determine whether or not you will be awarded a Perkins Loan.  Funds are limited in this program, so awarding priority is given to students who meet the priority filing deadline.
  2. How will I know I was awarded a Perkins Loan?
    It will be included in your Financial Aid Award Notification that you receive via e-mail.  You will need to accept the loan and complete all requirements to receive the funds.
  3. How many hours must I be enrolled to receive the loan?
    You must be enrolled at least half time to receive any perkins loan funds, there are no exceptions.
  4. Do I need to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive a Perkins Loan?
    Yes.  If you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress you are not eligible to be awarded or receive a Perkins Loan.
  5. When will my loan funds credit my account?
    The financial aid office will credit your student account at the beginning of each semester.  If you have completed all the loan requirements your loan funds will credit your account for the start of each semester.
  6. Where can I find out my total federal student loan amounts?
    You can keep track of your federal loan accumulations by using the federal National Student Loan Database (NSLDS).

Perkins Loan Limits
Depending on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level of the school, you can borrow up to

  • $5,500 for each year of undergraduate study. The total amount you can borrow as an undergraduate is $27,500
  • $8000 for each year of graduate or professional study. The total amount you can borrow as a graduate/professional student is $60,000. (This includes any Federal Perkins Loans you borrowed as an undergraduate.)

Perkins Repayment

Your monthly payment amount will depend on the size of your debt and the length of your repayment period.

The repayment chart shows typical monthly payments and total interest charges for three different 5-percent loans over a 10-year period. For an example of typical Perkins Loan repayment schedules see chart on page 40 on the Guide to Federal Student Aid.

Perkins Loan Deferment

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance on your loan. During a deferment, you are allowed to temporarily postpone payments on your loan, and no interest accrues. You may receive a deferment under certain conditions, such as unemployment. See the Loan Deferment Summary (chart on page 42) for the list of deferments available if your Perkins Loan was disbursed on or after July 1, 1993. If you have a loan that was disbursed before July 1, 1993, check your promissory note for the deferments that apply to that loan.

Deferments are not automatic. You must apply for one through your school by using a deferment request form your school can give you. You must file your deferment request on time or you'll pay a late charge. For more details on deferments, contact the student accounts office or your financial aid office.

If you are temporarily unable to meet your repayment schedule but are not eligible for a deferment, you can receive forbearance for a limited and specific period. During forbearance, your payments are postponed or reduced. Interest continues to accrue; you are responsible for it.

Forbearance isn't automatic either. You may be granted forbearance in up to 12-month intervals for up to three years. You must apply in writing for forbearance through the school that made your loan or the agency the school employs to service your loan. You'll have to provide documentation to support your request for forbearance. You must continue making scheduled payments until you are notified that deferment or forbearance has been granted.

Perkins Cancellation

You have the right to cancel your Perkins loan prior to the start of a payment period and within 14 days of the disbursement notification.  Your school must notify you in writing whenever it credits your account with your Perkins Loan funds. This notification will be sent to you no earlier than 30 days before, and no later than 30 days after the school credits your account. You may cancel all or a portion of your loan by informing your school that you wish to do so within 14 days after the date that your school sends you this notice, or by the first day of the payment period, whichever is later. Your school can tell you the first day of your payment period. If you receive Perkins Loan funds directly by check, you may refuse the funds by not endorsing the check.

Perkins Discharge/Cancellation

If the borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the loan can be canceled. A loan can also qualify for cancellation under certain other conditions--as long as the borrower is not in default. See the Discharge/Cancellation Summary in the Student Guide  (chart page 45) for the list of cancellation conditions. For more information, contact your financial aid office.

If you serve as an enlisted person in certain specialties of the U.S. Army, the Army Reserves, the Army National Guard, or the Air National Guard, the U.S. Department of Defense may, as an enlistment incentive, repay a portion of your Federal Perkins Loan. Note that this is not a cancellation. If you think you qualify, contact your recruiting officer.