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Federal Perkins Loan Program

Learn about the Federal Perkins Loan Program for need-based aid.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a Federal Title IV Program. The fund consists of federal dollars, matching dollars from the university, and funds that previous student borrowers have repaid. Federal regulations require that these loans go to the neediest aid applicants. Because the fund is limited, not all students who need loans can borrow from this program.

What is a Perkins loan?

Loan Limits 2016 -2017

Undergraduate – Grade Level 1$4,000-5,500$11,000
Undergraduate – Grade Level 2$4,000-5,500$11,000
Undergraduate – Grade Level 3$4,000-5,500$11,000
Undergraduate – Grade Level 4$4,000-5,500$27,500
Graduate LevelIneligible 

Cost of Borrowing

The Federal Perkins Loan Program does not require borrowers to pay a loan origination fee.  The annual interest rate of 5 percent makes the Federal Perkins Loan Program the "lowest cost" federal loan program.  Interest does not begin to accrue until nine months after you graduate, cease enrollment, or drop below half-time enrollment (six units). 

Entrance Loan Counseling

If you borrow from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, you must complete a loan counseling session every academic year for which you receive a loan, and complete the Federal Perkins Loan Borrower’s Questionnaire at the end of the Perkins Loan counseling session.  The link for the entrance counseling will be e-mailed to you by the Office of Student Accounts. 

Master Promissory Note

Perkins Loan borrowers at UMGC will receive a Federal Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note from the UMGC Perkins Loan Coordinator.  Borrowers will return their properly completed Perkins Loan Promissory Note to the UMGC Office of Student Accounts.


You will begin to repay a Federal Perkins Loan at the end of a nine-month grace period that begins when you leave the university or drop below a six unit course load.  Payments are based on the total amount borrowed, but may not be less than $40 per month.  Because your loan requires repayment within ten years, your payments may be higher than the minimum repayment.  You can prepay your loan at any time without penalty.  You can consolidate loans from more than one Federal Title IV student loan program and have just one monthly payment.  Refinancing may also give you a longer repayment period.

Deferments and Cancellations

During a period of deferment, you will not have to make payments on your loan and no interest will accrue.  Under certain circumstances, such as teaching in a designated elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families, you may cancel the loan.  You will find a complete list of deferment and cancellation benefits in the U.S. Department of Education's Student Guide.


If you have difficulty repaying your loan, you may be granted a limited period of forbearance upon written request.  During an approved period of forbearance, reduced or postponed payments result, although interest continues to accrue on your loan.

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