When you’re deciding where to get your college degree, figuring out how to pay for college can be as challenging as deciding where to apply. In both cases, you’ll fill out forms: college applications, college financial aid forms, and applications for college loans, scholarships and grants.
Sound overwhelming? Fortunately, the federal government has made it easy to apply for federal aid. All you do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and they’ll inform you which federal college loans, scholarships and grants you’re eligible for.
The federal government is the country’s largest provider of financial aid for college. Whether you’re pursuing a degree at a career college, community college, 4-year college or university, you may be able to receive federal aid to help pay for your college education. Learn more about the Federal Perkins Loan to see what you can expect if you’re eligible for this loan.
What Is the Federal Perkins Loan?
This federal student loan has a fixed rate and low interest, in relation to other college financial aid loans, and is intended for students with great financial need. You can receive this aid for your undergraduate degree as well as for a graduate program, like a masters degree, but only from schools that participate in this loan program.
With this loan, the Department of Education gives the college money to your school, which then determines the students with the greatest financial need. The school, then, becomes the lender and pays you directly or applies a credit to your school charges. You will receive these payments at least twice during the academic year; the amount depends on your school. Contact your financial aid office to find out when this college money is disbursed.
Who Qualifies for the Federal Perkins Loan?
To be eligible for this loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, and you must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen. You must also maintain academic progress throughout your college program and not have an existing defaulted loan.
How Are Federal Perkins Loans Repaid?
Because your school becomes your lender, you repay the money directly to your college or university. However, because this is a federal loan, the government will pay any accrued interest on this loan while you’re pursuing your college education; as soon as you graduate or leave school, you’ll be responsible for those payments.
Perkins Loans Tips & Tactics
- You have up to 10 years to repay this loan, so be sure you put enough money aside to stay on top of your payments.
- Having trouble paying your financial aid for college? If you experience financial hardships, like a lengthy unemployment, you may be able to postpone your payments.
- Taking certain jobs in the teaching, military or health care field may make you eligible to have part or all of your loans canceled. Certain types of volunteer work, through organizations like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, may also make you eligible to have your loan money partially paid or canceled completely.