Perkins Loans

Perkins loans have very low effective interest rates since interest does not accrue while the borrower is still in school. These loans are mainly offered to students with exceptional financial need. They are a fraction of the overall federal program, and are available for both graduate and undergraduate students. These loans have no origination fees, an interest rate of 5%, and interest that does not accrue while in college.

perkins – undergraduate

Interest Accrues During Studies?No
Origination Fee0%
Interest Rate5%
Dependent Max Annually$5,500
Independent Max Annually$5,500
Max Total$27,500

perkins – graduate

Interest Accrues During Studies?No
Origination Fee0%
Interest Rate5%
Max Annually$8,000
Max Total$60,000 (including undergraduate)

Perkins loans are different than most other federal aid because they are geared towards students with large unmet financial needs. These loans do not have origination fees and have an interest rate of 5%. Perkins loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students on an as needed basis and can be a low cost way to pay for your education. These loans should be accepted first for both undergraduates and for graduates. Perkins loans are a form of subsidized loans where interest does not accrue while the borrower is in school. Additionally, the grace period of Perkins loans is 9 months as opposed to 6 months for other federal loans.

Not all Title IV schools participate in the Perkins loan program. The individual college is given the most discretion in determining how much each student can receive in Perkins loans. This makes it difficult to estimate the amount of Perkins loans offered because it will vary between schools. For undergraduate students, the maximum amount of Perkins loans that can be accepted is $5,500 per year for both dependent and independent students. For graduate studies, the maximum amount is $8,000 per year.