Are you considering applying for federal financial aid? If so, you might have heard of the Perkins loan program. Perkins loans are government-backed, low-interest loans that are meant to help students pay for school. They come with a lot of great perks, including the opportunity for loan cancellation (that’s exactly what it sounds like it is?-imagine taking out a loan for school and not having to https://yourloansllc.com/title-loans-wi/ pay it back!).
If you want to get a Perkins loan for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for easy-to-follow instructions on exactly how to apply for a federal Perkins loan.
Note: As of 2017, the Perkins loan program is no longer being run. But don’t worry?-we’ll still give you a few options for what you can do for aid instead!
The End of the Perkins Loan + Other Options for Aid
Unfortunately, the Federal Perkins Loan Program ended officially on , so you can no longer apply for one of these low-interest loans from the US government.
According to US News, budgetary issues were the main cause behind the decision to end the Perkins loan. The US government initially began to phase out the popular loan program in 2015 before optimistically extending it, only to have it fail to be renewed by Congress in 2017.
Proponents of the program wanted to keep low-interest loan options available to college students who needed them the most, whereas opponents wanted to do away with the program in an effort to centralize student loans.
Now that the Perkins loan is gone, what are some other options for cost-effective ways to pay for college? Here are the best ones to consider:
- Federal Pell Grant: This government-issued grant is awarded to college students who meet specific eligibility requirements regarding income level and other factors. The max award for 2019-20 is $6,195. Because it is a grant, you do not need to pay back the money. All students are automatically considered for the Pell Grant when they submit their FAFSA.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): Similar to the Pell Grant, the FSEOG is a government-issued grant for college students who have high financial need. Again, because it’s a grant, you do not need to pay back the money you receive from it. You can get anywhere from $100 to $4,000 a year depending on your need.
- Scholarships: It’s always a smart idea to apply for as many scholarships as you can! These may include college-specific scholarships (including full-ride scholarships at some schools), scholarships based on SAT/ACT scores, and external scholarships run by organizations and businesses, such as the famous Gates Scholarship and Walmart Scholarship.
- Subsidized Loans: If you have to take out loans, start with these. Unlike unsubsidized loans, the US Department of Education will pay your interest on these loans during certain periods. You also won’t accrue any interest if you’re in school at least half-time and for the first six months after you graduate.
Hopefully, you now have a clear sense of how you could pay for college, despite no longer having access to the Perkins loan program.
The Basics of Applying for Perkins Loans
There’s no dedicated or separate application for the Perkins loan; instead, you apply by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The good news is that even if you’re not eligible for a Perkins loan, you’re opening up other opportunities for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA. You’ll automatically be considered for any federal aid programs. In addition, schools and private scholarships can use information from your FAFSA to award funds.