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What is the Federal Perkins Loan?

A Federal Perkins loan is a subsidized, low-interest student loan in the student’s name for educational purposes. While the loan is made with government funds, Wheaton College is the lender for this loan and contributes a share. Loan repayment is also made to Wheaton College. The loan is at a 5% fixed interest rate, but the interest is paid for the student until he begins repayment. Loan repayment is deferred while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time and during a 9-month grace period after the student either graduates or drops below half-time. However, if the student decides to attend graduate school, the loan repayment will once again be deferred.

How is the Federal Perkins Loan awarded?

The Federal Government has created this loan for higher need students; therefore, the Federal Perkins Loan is awarded based on the financial need of the family. An undergraduate student is required to fill out the FAFSA to determine if he is eligible for the loan.

Selection criteria:

  1. When packaging aid, Wheaton College first awards $2,000 Perkins Loans to higher need first-year students (determined by subtracting the EFC from the cost-of-attendance). Priority is given to students who submit a FAFSA by February 15.
  2. Next, Wheaton College awards $1,000 Perkins Loans to higher need second-year students (determined by subtracting the EFC from the cost-of-attendance). Priority is given to students who submit a FAFSA by April 15.
  3. Wheaton College also awards $2,000 Perkins Loans to juniors and seniors whose parent was denied a PLUS loan.

How does a student apply for the Federal Perkins Loan?

The student applies for financial aid by completing the application process.  Federal Perkins loan eligibility is considered as part of the financial aid award process. If a Federal Perkins loan is awarded, the student can choose to accept or decline the loan, or accept a partial amount.

When a student takes out a Federal Perkins loan for the first time, he must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). He will be notified when the MPN is available to sign in the Student Financial Services Office. The student will also be asked to complete Federal Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling, a process which involves the student’s reading and understanding conditions for borrowing Federal Perkins funds. Once these two steps have been completed the loan funds are ready to be disbursed into the student’s student account on campus at the beginning of each semester.