Federal Perkins Loan

All undergraduate students, who apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA, are considered for the Federal Perkins Loan.  Please refer to How to Apply for specific information on the application process at GW.  Students should also refer to Eligibility Factors for information on their individual eligibility.  Generally, students must also be registered for full-time credit hours. 

Students may borrow up to $5,500 per year if funding is available from GW.  The lifetime limits for Perkins are $27,500 for undergraduates and $60,000 for combined undergraduate and graduate studies.

For additional information about the Federal Perkins Loan program may be found on the Student Aid website.

More Information


Generally, the Federal Perkins Loan is awarded on an annual basis with an equal amount allocated for the fall semester and the spring semester.  Typically, a student award ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 annually. The amount awarded annually depends on the total amount that the University has available to lend. One semester awards may also be made.  Renewal of a Federal Perkins award is contingent upon the student applying for aid by the established deadlines; maintaining eligibility; and registering for the appropriate number of credit hours for each term.

Entrance Interview / MPN

The Entrance Interview and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) are provided by ACS - a Xerox Company, which is GW’s Perkins Loan servicer. To complete the Entrance Interview session and the MPN go to GW’s Perkins Loan servicer website. Students must provide their Social Security Number and date of birth to complete the Entrance Interview and the MPN. Generally, students awarded before the start of the fall semester will be able to sign an electronic MPN. Students awarded after the beginning of the fall semester will be directed to make an appointment to sign a paper MPN.

Exit Interview

Exit Interviews must be completed by Federal Perkins Loan borrowers who are graduating or will no longer be attending GW. Instructions on when and how to complete this requirement will be sent to students via email.  The Exit Interview is also provided by ACS. To complete the Exit Interview go to GW’s Perkins Loan servicer website.


Disbursement of the Federal Perkins Loan is made at the beginning of each semester provided the Master Promissory Note has been signed and all other requirements have been satisfied.  All Federal Perkins Loan disbursements must be reported to a credit bureau organization.  GW is a member of Equifax and reports all Federal Perkins Loan disbursements to them.

Interest Rate

Interest accrues at 5% simple interest on the unpaid balance once the grace period expires.  No interest accrues while the student remains in school on at least a half time basis.


Repayment starts three months after the grace period ends and continues quarterly for up to 10 years, excluding periods of deferment.  You will receive a bill approximately 20 days before each due date. You are entitled to a grace period of nine consecutive months following your separation from an institution of higher education. No payments are due during this period and no interest accrues. You may prepay your loan at any time without penalty. If you are planning a career in the military, the Department of Defense may have a program to help pay your federal loans.

Deferment and Cancellation

Specific information about deferment and cancellation provisions is contained in the Master Promissory Note.  In addition, you may view the deferment and cancellation provisions for all federal student loans on the Student Aid website.


As a federal loan, the Perkins may be consolidated with your other eligible federal student loans through the US Department of Education once you have graduated.  Information on consolidation may be found on Student Aid website. 

Loan Disclosures for Loans Made After 12/18/2015

Students may be eligible to receive Federal Perkins Loan funds through September 30, 2017 under the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015. Absent Congressional action to reauthorize the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the program will expire on 9/30/2017. Federal Perkins Loan disbursements are subject to the following terms and conditions of the Extension Act:

  1. The Extension Act of 2015: The Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 was signed into law on December 18, 2015. The Extension Act authorizes institutions of higher education to award new Perkins Loans to eligible students through September 30, 2017.

  2. Use of Loan Funds: You may only use your loan funds to pay educational expenses at the George Washington University. If you accept this loan, your eligibility for other student assistance may be affected.

  3. Loan Limits: To be eligible to receive a Perkins Loan, you must have been awarded the maximum annual Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for which you are eligible. The Federal Perkins Loan program has varying loan limits depending on your year in school, dependency status, and amount awarded by GW. Limits for undergraduates are $5,500 per year with a maximum of $27,500.

  4. Enrollment Status: If you do not maintain an enrollment status of at least half-time, your loan will enter repayment after the 9-month grace period.

  5. Repayment: Repayment and accrual of interest at an annual rate of 5% will begin following the expiration of your grace period.You promise to repay the full loan amount with all interest and fees generally within ten (10) years. The minimum monthly repayment of this loan is $40.00. You may prepay this loan, make loan payments before they are required, or in amounts that are greater than required, at any time without penalty. In some circumstances the loan may be deferred for student status, economic hardship, unemployment, military service, or cancellation service. A Department of Defense repayment program may be available for specified military service.

  6. Credit Bureau Notification: Your loan will be reported to Equifax on a monthly basis.

  7. Default: Your loan may be considered in default if terms and conditions of the loan note are not followed. Defaulted loans may be subject to late fees, acceleration (full balance due and payable), reference to a collection agency, and/or litigation.

  8. Collection Fees: A late payment fee may be charged for each individual scheduled payment that is missed. If your delinquent account is referred to collections, a collection agency or an attorney for litigation, you may be responsible to repay 100% of the cost to collect the loan including collection fees and litigation costs. This may include a percentage based collection fee system.

  9. Consolidation, Forgiveness, and Alternative Repayment plans: A Federal Perkins loan may be consolidated. Consolidating your federal education loans can simplify your payments, but it can also result in the loss of some benefits. Please weigh the pros and cons and decide if a Direct Consolidation Loan is right for you.  More information can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/ and https://studentloans.gov.

    Advantages of Consolidation Disadvantages of Consolidation
    • Combine multiple loans into one
    • Lower monthly payments
    • Up to 30 years to repay
    • Fixed interest rate
    • Access to forgiveness programs such as Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF). See #12 below.
    • Access to alternative Income Driven Repayment plans such as Pay As You Earn.   See #12 below.
    • Longer repayment period resulting in more payments and more interest
    • Possible loss of some deferment and forbearance benefits
    • Possible loss of some cancellation benefits, see #10 below
    • Possible loss of grace period
    • Possible loss of the interest subsidy
    • Possible increase in the interest rate
  10. Cancellation: You may be entitled to have up to 100% of the original principal loan amount forgiven on your Perkins loan if you perform qualifying service in an eligible profession such as teaching, early intervention, law enforcement or corrections, nurse or medical technician, child or family service, attorney in a defender organization, firefighter, Tribal or University faculty, librarian, speech-language pathologist, service in an early childhood education program, military, and volunteer service. Refer to your Federal Perkins MPN for eligibility and details.
  11. Direct Loan Limits and Federal Loan Interest Rate Comparison: Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans have varying loan limits depending on your year in school, dependency status, and amount awarded by GW. In general aggregate loan limits are $31,000 for dependent students, $57,500 for independent students and $138,500 for graduate or professional students. More detailed information regarding loan limits between subsidized and unsubsidized loans can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/. Interest rate comparisons can be found here.
  12. Additional Resources:

Higher Education Finance website https://studentaid.ed.gov/

Student loan website, FAFSA link, and FSA ID https://studentloans.gov