Perkins Loan Program


The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides funds for low-interest, long-term loans in order to help needy undergraduates, graduate, and special students defray the cost of higher education. The program was established under the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and is funded by the federal government and the University.

Student Eligibility and Application

Students desiring a Perkins Loan must meet all Federal Title IV eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the Federal Perkins Loan, a student must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States enrolled and in good standing on at least half-time basis and must have demonstrated exceptional financial need as determined by the Student Aid Report. In addition, the student must not owe a refund on any federal grant and must not be in default on a Stafford, Hinson & Hazlewood, or a National Direct Student Loan at any institution. Student with the greatest financial need are given priority.


General Information

Student Reporting Requirements

A student must inform the university of any changes in his/her name or Social Security Number, address, enrollment

Aggregate Loan Limits

Undergraduate students are eligible to borrow $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study. The total debt a student can have outstanding, as an undergraduate, is $20,000. Graduate students are eligible to borrow $6,000 for each year of graduate study. The total debt a student can have outstanding as a graduate student is $40,000. (This includes any Perkins Loans a student has borrowed as an undergraduate.) In no case, however, may a student receive a loan in an amount which exceeds the demonstrated financial need.

Grace Period

Borrowers are entitled to a six-month grace period after ceasing to be at least half-time student before the repayment period begins. New borrowers "grace period" is 9 month (as of 1987-88).

Interest Rate

The Perkins Loan carries a simple interest rate of 5 percent which begins to accrue at the time of repayment.


Monthly payments of not less than $40 begins in the seventh month and the entire indebtedness must be repaid within ten years.


A deferment may be filed after a student enters repayment status.

Pre-Loan Counseling

First-time borrowers are required to attend a pre-loan counseling session. The purpose of the pre-loan counseling session is to advise the student of his/her rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Please contact the Perkins Loan Clerk at the Business Office at 361-593-3716 to set up an appointment to complete the loan entrance counseling. If counseling is incomplete, your Perkins loan will not be disbursed into your student account.

Rights and Responsibilities of a Borrower

A borrower will be provided a copy of the promissory note and repayment schedule. The information will disclose the full amount of the loan, the interest rate, and when repayment will begin. Also included is the following:

  • Complete list of charges connected with making the loan (including whether those charges are deducted from the loan or whether the student must pay them separately).
  • Yearly and total amounts that can be borrowed, and the maximum and minimum repayment periods.
  • An updated statement of all the loans owed to the school; an estimate of what the total debt will be and what the monthly payments will be.
  • An explanation of default and its consequences.
  • An explanation of refinancing and consolidation options.
  • A statement of deferment conditions and the conditions under which the Department of Defense will repay the loan.
  • A reminder that the entire balance and interest can be repaid at any time, without penalty.

The loan must be repaid according to the repayment schedule. If the borrower cannot do this, he/she must notify the school immediately. The borrower must notify the University if he/she graduates, transfers to another school, drops below the half-time status, or if a change is made in name, address, or social security number. The borrower must notify the University of anything that affects his/her ability to repay the loan or eligibility for deferment or cancellation. NOTE: BEFORE THE BORROWER LEAVES THE UNIVERSITY, HE/SHE MUST ATTEND AN EXIT INTERVIEW. Please contact the Perkins Loan Clerk at 361-593-3716.

Loan Cancellation

The program provides for cancellation of interest and indebtedness for full-time teachers in designated public or non-profit elementary or secondary schools, full-time teachers of handicapped children, full-time staff members employed in Head Start programs, members of the armed services in an area qualifying for special pay, as well as death and/or total and permanent disability.

Exit Interview

Any time a student graduates, transfers, drops below half time, withdraws, or does not enroll for one semester and fails to pre-register for the upcoming semester, he/she must attend an exit interview. Please contact the Perkins Loan Clerk at the Business Office at 361-593-3716.