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Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is for undergraduate and graduate students and offers a 5 percent fixed rate with zero origination fees.

The Federal Perkins Loan is for undergraduate and graduate students and offers a 5 percent fixed rate with zero origination fees.

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To be eligible for the Perkins loan, undergraduate students must:

Due to limited funding, not all students who are eligible will receive this award. Students who are awarded a Perkins loan are not automatically awarded in subsequent years.

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How to apply

You will automatically be considered for a Perkins loan if you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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How to accept the loan

First-time Perkins loan borrowers will receive an email mid to late August from Student Financial Services with directions for signing the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. You will need your Penn State User ID and password to sign your MPN. If you have been awarded a Perkins loan and signed an MPN in the past, you are not required to sign a new MPN.

The loan amount will appear on your Student Aid Summary on eLion and as a credit on your tuition bill. Once you have completed your registration, funds will automatically disburse to your student account after classes begin.

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How to decrease or cancel the loan amount

To decrease or cancel your loan, log into eLion and select "Loan Decrease" under the "Financial" menu. If you are a new student, this option will be available after your Penn State Access Account is activated during the New Student Orientation.

Reducing or canceling your Perkins loan for the fall semester will not automatically reduce or cancel your Perkins loan for the spring semester.

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How to repay or defer payments

Repayment begins after your nine-month grace period. The grace period will begin any time you are not enrolled at least half-time (with the exception of summer). For most students the grace period begins after graduation.

Perkins loan repayments are made to Penn State. If you cannot make payments on your loan after the nine-month grace period, you may be able to postpone repayment by pursuing deferment or forbearance. For more information, contact the Office of Student Loans and Scholarships.

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What to do about Perkins loans borrowed from other institutions

If you have borrowed a Federal Perkins Loan(s) from a school other than Penn State and you are currently enrolled at Penn State at least half-time, you may be eligible for an in-school deferment.

If you do not defer Perkins loans, you might not qualify for future aid and could forfeit current aid

You are responsible for any delinquency or default on a Perkins loan. Therefore, if you do not defer Perkins loans from schools other than Penn State, you run the risk of having negative credit information reported to credit bureaus and possibly losing access to future federal student aid.

In some instances, you could forfeit student aid that has already been disbursed to you. This could result in a large balance on your student account, which you will be required to pay.

1. Get loan contact information

Contact information for the school(s) that awarded your Perkins loans is available on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Log in to NSLDS with your Federal Student Aid PIN and select “Financial Aid Review.” In “Loan Summary,” select the yellow button next to the loan(s) to view school contact information.

2. Contact the school

Federal Perkins Loans are serviced by the school awarding the loan or by that school's contracted service agency.

You must contact the school, servicing area, or agency and notify them that you are currently enrolled at least half-time at Penn State. You will also need to request an in-school deferment. The other school will need to verify your enrollment at Penn State—you will need to log in to eLion and select "Academic Verification."

You will need to contact the school or agency about deferment every semester as long as you are enrolled at Penn State at least half-time.

3. Complete the in-school deferment form

Complete the in-school deferment form and forward it to the Office of the University Registrar—ask the Registrar to attach an official enrollment verification to the form. The Registrar's office will return the deferment form and verification to the school from which you previously borrowed the Perkins Loan.

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