Undergraduate Federal Perkins Loan

What Are Perkins Loan?

The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest, long-term loan made to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as determined by federal guidelines to help pay for their cost of education. Berry College receives funds directly from the Department of Education and is responsible for administering the loan program on our campus. Students repay directly to Berry College. Interest on the loan does not accrue on the loan during:

  • At least half time enrollment in school
  • The nine month grace period after the student ceases attendance on at least a half time basis.

Advantages of the Perkin Loan

  • The interest rate is 5%.
  • It carries no origination and guarantee fees.
  • Repayment of the loan does not begin until the student graduates or drops below half-time status.
  • In cases of economic hardship, payments may be deferred, extended, or reduced.
  • The loan is forgiven in case of permanent disability or death.
  • Repayment may be up to 10 years.
  • Certain professions and public service activities may qualify the student for future loan cancellation (including service in teaching, the Peace Corps, law enforcement, and nursing.)
  • Perkins Loans may be consolidated with Direct Student Loans for repayment purposes.

Eligibility for Perkins Loans

Your Perkins loan eligibility is determined by the Office of Financial Aid and is based on information you provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal criteria include:

  • Enrollment in an eligible school and degree program
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or eligible noncitizen status
  • Satisfactory academic progress (as determined by the Office of Financial Aid)
  • No unresolved defaults or overpayments owed on Title IV educational loans and grants
  • Satisfaction of all Selective Service Act requirements

Loans are usually issued for a single academic year, and both eligibility and amount are calculated annually throughout your academic career.
Limited Perkins funds are available each year and funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

How Much Can I Borrow?

Perkins Loans are available for up to $5,500 during the academic year.

Interest Rates

The interest rate is 5%.

The Application Process

Federal regulations require that awards be made to students who demonstrate the most financial need. Although students cannot apply specifically for a Perkins Loan, students will be considered after the following:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application online at the Department of Education’s website fafsa.gov.
  • Once the FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) documenting your financial resources and expected family contribution towards educational costs. An electronic copy will be sent to the Financial Aid Office of the school(s) listed on your application.
  • Check your SAR for accuracy. If there are errors, follow the correction process indicated on the SAR or as instructed by the Financial Aid Office.
  • From the information obtained in the SAR and other supporting documents, the Financial Aid Office will generate an award letter documenting the financial aid available to you, including Perkins Loan eligibility.

If your aid includes a Perkins Loan, processing will include the following steps.

  • The student may accept all or part of the loan online on VikingWeb.
  • For loan term details and counseling, the student should meet with a counselor in Berry's Office of Financial Aid.    
  • After taking these steps, the student must complete the Perkins Loan Contract and Master Promissory Note with our Student Business Office.

Disbursements of Funds
The loan proceeds will be processed through the Student Business Office. Funds will credit first to your tuition account. Any excess funds will be mailed to your permanent address or another address, if you have notified the Student Business Office of the other address.