Federal Perkins Loan

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The Federal Perkins Loan is a loan with a low-interest fixed rate of 5% awarded by the school from (Campus-Based Aid) funds provided by the federal government and contributed by the school. Perkins Loans are awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need. A Perkins Loan is a loan that has to be REPAID. The school is the lender, so the loan is repaid to the school or its servicer. Repayment and interest charges are deferred for nine months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.

New Truth In Lending Act (TILA) regulations include additional disclosures and require a three day waiting period after the disclosures have been completed before a University Loan can be disbursed. These new regulations do not apply to Federal Perkins Loans.

To Apply for a Federal Perkins Loan

To apply for a Federal Perkins Loan, you must complete the FAFSA. If you are eligible for a Federal Perkins Loan, the award amount will be posted on your electronic Award Letter on SalukiNet.

A student is eligible to be considered for the Federal Perkins Loan if they:

  • have a valid EFC on file in the Financial Aid Office by the deadline date.
  • have exceptional financial need.
  • are enrolled in an eligible program on at least a half-time basis.
  • are making satisfactory academic progress.
  • have not already borrowed the maximum aggregate Federal Perkins Loan amount.
  • are not ineligible for other reasons. 

The amount of the Perkins Loan awarded will depend on the student's costs, Estimated Family Contribution, other financial aid, and the availability of Perkins funds at SIU. No student may borrow more than $4,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There is a total Perkins Loan limit of $20,000 for undergraduate study.  No fees are charged to process a Perkins Loan. The 5% interest is not charged while the student remains in school on at least a half-time basis (or during the grace period or periods of deferment).

To Accept/Reduce/Decline a Perkins Loan

An electronic Award Letter will be provided to eligible students offering a Perkins Loan. The student must accept or decline the Perkins Loan.  If the loan is accepted, the student must sign a Master Promissory Note and Borrowers Information Form.  The loan will then be credited to the student's SIU account, divided into two payments for the academic year.  The student will be required to participate in an Entrance Counseling session. The student can cancel the loan within 90 days of the date the school notifies the student that the loan has been credited to their account.

Under certain circumstances, payments on a Perkins Loan can be postponed by requesting a deferment or forbearance, or may be cancelled due to death, disability or certain other conditions. Reasons to grant a deferment may include:

  • being enrolled on at least a half-time basis at a postsecondary school;
  • enrollment in an approved graduate fellowship program or approved rehabilitation training program;
  • inability to find full-time employment (up to 3 years);
  • economic hardship (up to 3 years) or certain types of volunteer service.
A borrower should contact the SIU Bursar's Office for more information on applying for deferments, forbearance or cancellation of Perkins Loans.