Federal Perkins Questions and Answers
What is a Perkins loan?
It is a low interest (5% fixed interest rate) student loan for undergraduate 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% whereas the Stafford loans vary based on the year borrowed (see www.hofstra.edu/learnaboutloans ). 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 $1,400 depending on the annual budget.
Why is the Hofstra maximum only about $1,400 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 letter to students with specific instructions relating to the online exit interview process. Students are required to complete and e-sign an exit counseling session online by visiting https://borrower.ecsi.net/,.
Questions relating to the Perkins exit interview process should be directed to 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 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 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 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 email us at LoanRepayment@Hofstra.edu or visit the Loan Repayment Office in room 205 Memorial Hall at Hofstra University.