Federal Perkins Questions and Answers
What is a Perkins loan?
It is a low interest (5% fixed interest rate) student loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. The University is the lender of these federal funds.
How do I apply?
Just by filing the FAFSA students will automatically be considered for the Perkins. If students are awarded the Perkins loan, it will appear on the Financial Aid Award Notification and a Master Promissory Note will be included to sign.
What is the difference between Perkins loans and Federal Stafford/Unsubsidized student loans?
Perkins is lent through the University and the Stafford loans are lent through the federal Direct Loan program at www.studentloans.gov . The Perkins is a limited pool of money so once the college runs out for the year it is gone whereas, the Stafford loans are lent to every student who applies by the deadline and is eligible. The interest rate for the Perkins loan is fixed at 5% as well as the Unsubsidized Stafford loan at 6.8%. The Subsidized Stafford loan varies based on the year borrowed (beginning with loan periods after July 1, 2012, will be fixed at 6.8%). The annual borrowing limits are different; the Perkins annual limit can be the same for each eligible student regardless of the student’s year in college whereas, the Stafford loan limits are based on year in college associated with the number of earned credits by each student.
What is Hofstra’s criteria for awarding Perkins?
A student generally must have a zero efc (expected family contribution) as calculated by the FAFSA.
What if I received Perkins last year based on a zero efc but this year the efc is a little higher, can I still get Perkins?
If you were not awarded the Perkins loan this year, you can ask the Student Financial Services to put your name on the wait list. However, there is no guarantee you will receive it, so you must make alternate arrangements to pay that portion of your bill.
How much Perkins can a student get?
Each college sets its own limits but the federal maximum is up to $5,500 for undergraduate and $8,000 for graduate students each academic year. At Hofstra, the award is usually around $1,500 depending on the annual budget.
Why is the Hofstra maximum only about $1,500 a year when the federal guidelines say the maximum can be up to $5,500 a year for undergraduate students?
Hofstra receives a very small pool of money from the government and to make sure we award it to as many eligible students as possible, we must limit the award per student.
When will my Perkins loan disburse?
Perkins loan funds usually disburse to your account on or about 10 days prior to the start of each term. For the Fall semester, the Perkins loan will pay on or after September 1. Please note: disbursement may not occur if you have not completed all the requirements and/or submitted all the required documentation.
Am I required to do an exit interview for my Perkins loan?
Yes. Students who received Perkins loan, are required by federal regulations to complete a exit interview, once they are no longer enrolled at the University, or attending at least half-time. The exit interview process is designed to help guide the student in managing their student loans after college.
The Loan Repayment Office mails an exit packet to students with specific instructions to complete the exit interview process. Students are required to complete a counseling session online by visiting http://mappingyourfuture.org, also to sign and return their Perkins loan disclosure statement. Both requirements must be satisfied in order for the exit process to be completed.
Questions relating to the Perkins exit interview process should be directed to Samantha Awai at 516-463-6868 or Nicole Lombardi at 516-463-6839,email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu or visit the Loan Repayment Office in room 205 Memorial Hall at Hofstra University.
When do students have to start paying back the Perkins loan?
There is a 9 month grace period from the time students stop attending. If a student drops below half-time enrollment (6cr undergraduates, 4.5 credits graduates), they should contact Samantha Awai at 516-463-6868 or Nicole Lombardi at 516-463-6839,or email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu for further information regarding the grace period
Is it ever possible to postpone repayment of the Federal Perkins loan?
Yes, your Perkins loan may be eligible for deferment or forbearance. Please contact Samantha Awai at 516-463-6868 or Nicole Lombardi at 516-463-6839,email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu or visit the Loan Repayment Office in room 205 Memorial Hall at Hofstra University.
Who should be contacted about repayment of the Federal Perkins loan?
Please contact Samantha Awai at 516-463-6868 or Nicole Lombardi at 516-463-6839,email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu or visit the Loan Repayment Office in room 205 Memorial Hall at Hofstra University.
Is it ever possible to have the responsibility of repaying the Perkins loan canceled?
Yes, if you are employed in a qualifying profession, your Perkins loan may be eligible for cancellation. Please contact Samantha Awai at 516-463-6868 or Nicole Lombardi at 516-463-6839,email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu or visit the Loan Repayment Office in room 205 Memorial Hall at Hofstra University.
Please note that Hofstra University is required to submit loan information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and that information is accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.