Federal Perkins Loans help financially needy undergraduate and graduate students meet the cost of postsecondary education. The award is made by the school based on the availability of funds. A Federal Perkins Loan carries a fixed interest rate and must be repaid beginning after a nine-month grace period following the date when the student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
Institutional financial aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of Perkins loans to award to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment. Borrowers who undertake certain public, military, or teaching service employment are eligible to have all or part of their loans canceled.