Federal Perkins Loan


The law requires that borrowers demonstrate the greatest need when compared to their classmates' need to be eligible for a Federal Perkins Loan. It also requires that they be, in the opinion of their institutions, capable of maintaining good standing in their chosen course of study. The amount of Perkins, when combined with other financial aid, may not exceed a borrower's demonstrated need. Because Whitman College has a limited amount of Perkins Loan fund to award each year, students will want to accept their Perkins Loans as soon as possible. If the student is in need of more Perkins Loan than originally awarded, they will need to contact the financial aid office as soon as they know the amount they will need for the year.

Terms of Loan

Undergraduate students may request up to $5500 annually; the aggregate total for undergraduate studies may not exceed $27,500. The student must sign a promissory note prior to disbursement of his or her loan. Repayment of the principal and interest of the loan begins nine months after the borrower leaves higher education or eligible deferment status.

Interest of 5% per year begins to accrue at the end of the grace period. The student may have up to ten years to repay the loan. Federal Perkins Loan payments are deferred: (1) for any borrower in school at least half-time or for any borrower pursuing a course of study pursuant to a graduate fellowship program or pursuant to a rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals (programs must be approved by the Secretary)--except that no borrower is eligible for a deferment under this clause while serving in a medical internship or residency program; (2) for up to three years during which the borrower is seeking and unable to find full-time employment; (3) for up to three years for economic hardship, defined pursuant to regulations by the Secretary; or (4) during any period in which the borrower is engaged in certain community services activities such as the Peace Corps, VISTA, Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps and U. S. Public Health Service. Generally these deferments are two or three years, depending upon the service area. In addition, deferments will be approved for students engaged in graduate or post-graduate fellowship-supported study outside the U. S. until the completion of the period of the fellowship.

Forgiveness of Repayment

Eligibility for loan cancellation is provided to employment categories including: (1) full-time special education teachers, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities in a public or other non-profit elementary or secondary school system, or as a full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services in a public or other non-profit program under public supervision by the lead agency as authorized in section 676(b)(9) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act; (2) full-time teachers of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, and other shortage fields determined by the state's education agency; (3) full-time nurses and medical technicians providing health care services; and (4) full-time employees of public or private non-profit child or family services agencies who are providing, or supervising the provision of, services to high-risk children who are from low-income communities and the families of such children.

The amount of the loan that may be cancelled is as follows:

Up to 100% for full-time teaching in a public or non-profit elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families or disabled students; or for full-time service as a qualifying law enforcement or corrections officer at the following rate: 15% of the original principal loan amount, plus the interest that accrued during the year, for each of the first and second years; 20% for each of the third and fourth years, and 30% for the fifth year.

Up to the 100% for full-time service as a staff member in a pre-school program carried out under the Head Start Act; the cancellation rate is 15% per year of the original principal loan amount plus the interest that has accrued during the year.

Up to 50% for service in the U. S. Armed Forces in an area of hostilities or an area of imminent danger that qualifies for special pay under Section 310 of Title 37 of the U. S. Code. The cancellation rate is 12.5% of the original principal loan amount plus the interest that has accrued for the year.

Up to 70% for service as a Peace Corps volunteer or volunteer under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act (ACTION programs) at the following rate: 15% of the original principal loan amount plus the interest that has accrued during the year for each of the first and second 12-month periods of service, and 20% for the third and fourth 12-month periods of service.