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Perkins Loan Set to Expire in 2017. What’s Next?

July 14, 2016

The Perkins Loan Program is the nation’s oldest and most established student loan program. It even predates the Higher Education Act. Be that as it may, as the growth of Stafford and PLUS Loans in the FFELP and Direct Loan Programs continued, policymakers have often viewed Perkins as a duplicate of the larger student loan programs.

In 2015, the Perkins Loan Program temporarily expired. However, it was revived, with some small prerequisites for Perkins Loans. The new law allows for loans to existing graduate students through September 30, 2016, and eligible undergraduate students through September 30, 2017, with subsequent disbursements through the end of the associated academic year, as long as the loan disbursement is before September 30th.

The Perkins Loan Program will again face expiration in 2017. The Higher Education Act (HEA) is a vehicle for the continuation and potential reforms, but the timetable for reauthorization of the HEA is uncertain. However, there is unprecedented support on Capitol Hill as demonstrated through the Congressional battle of 2015. COHEAO and Perkins advocates nationwide, together with our champions in Congress are well positioned to leverage the momentum and fight for the long-term continuation of the Perkins Loan Program.

COHEAO has created and presented the Campus Flex Proposal as a way to modernize the program and integrate it into the simplification of the financial aid process. The main component of Campus Flex is to streamline all campus-based programs into one single appropriation.

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