Perkins Entrance Counseling

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What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

It is important that you understand the Perkins Loan Program, including the terms of your loan and your responsibility for repaying the loan.

Upon completion of this student loan counseling session, you will receive a copy of your rights and responsibilities. Your promissory note will also contain your rights and responsibilities.

The MPN:

  • Is a binding legal agreement you sign to indicate your commitment to repay your student loan(s);
  • May be used for multiple loans up to 10 year; and
  • Makes the borrowing process easier for borrowers and schools alike.
Under the Perkins loan program, WVNCC makes the loan to the student borrower. A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan for students with exceptional financial need. WVNCC is your lender. The loan is made with government funds with a share contributed by WVNCC. You must repay this loan to your school, or to the billing service engaged by WVNCC as its agent to administer billing and collection functions.
  • This is a need-based loan.
  • This loan may be used only for educational expenses.
  • Interest on the loan does not accrue while you are in school, during your grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment.
  • The interest rate is fixed at 5 percent.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Repayment begins nine months after you are no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
  • Minimum monthly payments required are $40.

Please answer the question below:

1.) My Federal Perkins Loan is:

A. Funded by the federal government and my school
B. Has a minimum payment of $40
C. Due 9 months after I am no longer enrolled at least half-time
D. All the above


Understanding Perkins Loan Borrowing

It is important to remember that loans must be repaid; even if you:

  • Do not complete your education,
  • Are not employed upon completion of your studies, or
  • Feel that the education you received did not meet your expectations.
Always borrow conservatively!

Maximum Perkins Loan Amounts

Undergradute $5,500

Graduate $8,000

Aggregate loan limits for Federal Perkins Loans (cumulative total for all schooling)

Undergraduate $27,500

Graduate $60,000

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress:

To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a certificate or degree. WVNCCís Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available in the College Catalog. Please obtain and review a current copy.

Withdrawals and Refunds:

It is very important that you contact the appropriate offices (financial aid office, registrar, business office) if you decide to withdraw prior to completing your program of study.

The law specifies the amount of financial assistance you earn each academic year and how your WVNCC determines your eligibility. If you withdraw, WVNCC uses a specific formula to calculate how much aid youíve earned to that point. If you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you will be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance that you earned your school must return excess funds in a specific order. Contact WVNCC if you want more information about our published refund policy.

Please answer the question below:

2.) I must repay my Federal Perkins Loan even if:

A. I do not complete my education
B. I am not employed upon completion of my studies
C. I am not satisfied with the quality of education I received
D. All the above



Once you are out of school, you will have to pay back the loan. It is important that you know your total loan amount, the repayment amount, and develop a budget and stick to it. This will keep you from accumulating large debts and help you manage your student loan payments when you have finished school.

Several things occur after you leave school or drop below half-time attendance. First, you are granted a grace period Ė a period of time (nine months) when you donít have to make payments. (Of course, you can prepay your loans any time you want, without penalty.) During the grace period, no interest accrues on your loan.

What if you enroll in school? It depends on when you do it. If you re-enroll at least half-time during this grace period Ė and you file for deferment Ė you get another nine-month grace period the next time you drop below half-time. If you re-enroll after the grace period, however, your next grace period will only be six months.

If you have a loan in grace and are ordered to active duty, you are eligible to have one or more military extensions of the grace period, for up to three years. This includes the time necessary to resume enrollment at the next available enrollment period. If you are called to active duty during the initial grace period, a new nine-month initial grace period can be granted upon completion of the excluded period.

When the time comes to begin loan repayment the Federal Perkins Loan usually is set at a minimum monthly payment of $40. The payment amount may be higher depending on your loan balance. The maximum repayment period is 10 years.

Loan Amounts and Monthly Payments

Below is a chart with sample loan amounts and monthly payments based on an interest rate of 5 percent:

Amount Borrowed
Monthly payment amount
Number of payments
Total amount paid

Please answer the questions below:

3.) To adequately prepare for repayment of my student loan, I should:

A. Prepare a budget and stick to it
B. Know my total loan amount and the repayment amount
C. Both A and B
D. Consider filing for bankruptcy


4.) The grace period on a Federal Perkins Loan is:

A. An initial nine-month grace period
B. Twelve Months
C. A six-month grace period, if I used up my inital nine-month grace period prior to returning to school
D. A or C


Discharge and Cancellation

You may be eligible to request a partial cancellation of your Federal Perkins Loan. If you work or perform a service as one of the following:

  • Teacher in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school. The teaching must be in a school serving low-income students, or in a field of expertise, including mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field of expertise where the State education agency determines that there is a shortage of qualified teachers.
  • Teacher in special education for infants, toddlers, children of youth with disabilities, in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school system.
  • Full-time staff members in a pre-kindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by the state.
  • Full-time speech language pathologists with a masterís degree working exclusively with Title I schools.
  • Librarians with a masterís degree in library science who are employed in a school served under Title I of the ESEA, or public library serving a Title I school.
  • Full-time faculty members at a tribally controlled university.
  • Nurse, medical technician, or allied health professionals.
  • Full-time firefighters.
  • Full-time employee in a public or private nonprofit child or family service agency who is providing, or supervising the provision of, services to high risk children who are from low-income communities and the families of these children.
  • Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services in a public or other nonprofit program under supervision by the lead agency as authorized in section 632(5) of the individual with Disabilities Act.
  • Law enforcement, public prosecutor, public defender, or corrections officer.
  • Full-time staff member in a Head Start program.
  • A member of the Armed Forces in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under section 310 of Title 37 of the United States Code.
  • Volunteer under the Peace Corps Act or the Domestic Violence Service Act of 1973 (ACTION programs).
If you serve as an enlisted person in certain specialties of the U.S. Army, the Army Reserves, the Army National Guard, or the Air National Guard, the U.S. Department of Defense may, as an enlistment incentive, repay a portion of your Federal Perkins Loan. Note that this is not a cancellation. If you think you qualify, contact your recruiting officer. AmeriCorps service may provide education awards to help finance college or help pay back student loans. Contact AmeriCorps at (800) 942-2677 or for more information.

Finally, if you become totally and permanently disabled, or if you die, your loan obligation will be cancelled. Loan cancellation due to disability requires certification from a physical and is subject to a conditional period of three years.

Please answer the questions below:

5.) I may be eligible for cancellation of my Federal Perkins Loan if the following occurs:

A. I am in the top 5 percent of my class
B. I work as a law enforcement or corrections officer
C. I drop out of school
D. Both B and C


6.) If I become totally and permanently disabled:

A. My loan may be cancelled following a three-year conditional period
B. My loan will be cancelled automatically
C. My parents must repay my loan
D. My spouse must repay my loan


Solutions for Repayment Problems

WVNCC understands that you may experience financial difficulty and offers options that temporarily reduce or suspend your monthly payment. If you are experiencing financial difficulty you should contact our billing service ECSI ( or (800) 549-3274 immediately for assistance in handling your student loan payments.

A deferment is a period of time during which your lender temporarily suspends your regular payments. If your loans were made on or after July 1, 1993, you may be eligible for the following deferments:

  • At least half-time enrollment at an eligible school
  • Graduate fellowship program
  • Rehabilitation training program
  • Military service
  • Unemployment
  • Economic hardship
  • Service eligible for partial loan cancellation (outlined in the previous topic)
Refer to your promissory note for specific deferment provisions. Additional deferment provisions are available for loans made before July 1, 1993.

Interest is not charged during deferment periods. WVNCC and/or ECSI must determine your eligibility for any of these deferments. In order to receive a deferment, you must request a deferment form from WVNCC and/or ECSI, complete the form with all required documentation, and return it promptly to your school or its billing service.

Forbearance is a period of time during which your school temporarily reduces or suspends your regular payments. You may request a forbearance if you are willing but unable to make your payments. You are responsible for the interest that accrues during the forbearance period. You must contact WVNCC and/or ECSI to request forbearance.

Please answer the questions below:

7.) When I've been granted a deferment, it means:

A. I am responsible for paying the accrued intrest during the deferment period
B. My regular monthly payment is temporaily suspended
C. My school has determind my eligibility for a deferment
D. Both A and B
E. Both B and C


8.) If I am experiencing financial difficulty:

A. I should contact my school or its billing service immediately for assistance in handling my student loan payments
B. I don't need to do anytning - my school will know I'm having problems
C. I can request anther grace period from my school
D. I shoudl file for brankruptcy


Delinquency and Default

Notify WVNCC and/or ECSI immediately if you have difficulty making a payment. Failure to pay all or part of an installment payment when due or to make alternative arrangements with ECSI may result in late charges. WVNCC/ECSI is required to report your past-due status to a national credit bureau and to initiate collection against you if you fail to make timely payments. In addition, WVNCC/ECSI has the option to file a lawsuit against you.

You must start paying back your loan nine months after you are no longer enrolled in school at least half time. Failure to do so will put you in default.

Defaulting on your student loan can result in:

  • Damage to your credit rating, which could impact your ability to borrow (for example, you may be denied a car loan);
  • Referral of your account to a collection agency, accumulating collection fees, and possible civil lawsuit including court costs and legal expenses;
  • Garnishment of your wages;
  • Withholding of your state or federal Treasury payments (including federal tax refunds), Social Security benefits, etc.);
  • Loss of deferment and forbearance entitlements and flexible repayment options;
  • Loss of eligibility for further financial aid; and
  • Suspension of your professional license.
If you default, you may be eligible for the loan rehabilitation program. Once a loan is rehabilitated, ECSI will instruct the credit bureau to remove the default from your history and return your account to regular repayment status. You will also regain the balance of benefits and privileges of the promissory note as applied prior to default. Rehabilitation can only be granted once per loan.

For more information

To monitor all of your federal student loan debt, you may access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on line at or call toll-free 1-800-999-8219. You will need your federal PIN number to view your loan history. Please note that this website does not list your alternative or private student loans.

For Help with a Dispute or Problem

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman works with student loan borrowers to resolve loan disputes and problems informally. The goal is to find creative alternatives for borrowers who need help with their federal loans. You can reach the FSA Ombudsman at:

Office of the Ombudsman, USDOE
4th Floor UCP-3/MS 5144
830 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20202

Toll-Free phone: 1-877-557-2575
Internet: or

Please answer the questions below:

9.) If I default on my Federal Perkins Loan, WVNCC or ESCI may:

A. Report me to the national credit bureaus
B. Do nothing
C. File a lawsuit against me
D. Both A and C


10.) Who do I have to contact if I have problems making payments on my Federal Perkins Loan?

A. The school from which I borrowed by Federal Direct Loan
B. The school from which I borrowed the Federal Perkins Loan
C. The Department of Treasury
D. The U.S. Department of Education