A Federal Perkins Loan, or Perkins Loan, is a need-based student loan.
The program is named after Carl D. Perkins, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky and an avid supporter of accessible education for low-income families. Perkins loans are accessed through what is called "campus-based aid." Together with the Federal Work-Study program, they provide students with funding based upon extreme financial need. These programs are administered through Furman's financial aid department. You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine your eligibility for a Perkins Loan.
Perkins Loans carry a fixed interest rate of 5% for the duration of the ten-year repayment period. The Perkins Loan Program has a nine-month grace period, so that borrowers begin repayment in the twelfth month upon graduating, falling below half-time status, or withdrawing from their college or university. Because the Perkins Loan is subsidized, interest does not begin to accrue until the student has graduated and their grace period has expired. As of the current academic year (2012-2013), the loan limits for undergraduates are $5,500 per year with a lifetime maximum loan of $27,500. For graduate students, the limit is $8,000 per year with a lifetime limit of $60,000 (including undergraduate loans).
Federal Perkins Loans qualify for deferment benefits like other federal student loans, such as the Stafford and Direct Loan programs. A deferment is defined as a period where a borrower is not required to make scheduled installment payments and is not liable for any interest that might otherwise accrue if in repayment. At any time where a student is enrolled at least half-time in school or in a graduate fellowship program recognized by the Department of Education they may defer their Perkins loan through written or oral request to Furman. Please refer to the Master Promissory Note for additional deferment situations.
Federal Perkins Loans are unique from other student loans because they are eligible for principal and interest cancellations. Students who enter the following careers may be eligible for up to 100% of their loans forgiven.
Teachers in a title one school or who teach subjects in an area of shortage
Full-time professionals working in Early Intervention Services
Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer
Nurse or Medical Technicians
Agents working in Child and Family Services
Attorneys employed in a Defender Organization
Tribal College or University Faculty
Early Childhood Education
Volunteer Service under the Peace Corps Act or Volunteer Service Act of 1973
*Please refer to your original Master Promissory Note to determine eligibility for Cancellation