Perkins News Update

Perkins Lives! House Passes Two-Year Extension

Today, the US House of Representatives passed the Senate-amended version of the Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2015. Representative Mike Bishop (R-MI), the sponsor of the legislation, took to the floor and requested unanimous consent that the House pass the Senate-amended version of HR 3594.  There were no objections so the bill passed and moves to President Obama for signature.

The changes to the program as a result of the two-year extension are far from ideal, but loans will again be available to new students, and the program remains alive heading into the HEA reauthorization debate.  The resuscitation of the program shocked many here in Washington and it is the direct result your hard work in promoting the Perkins Loan Program.  By advocating and educating both policymakers and decision-makers on campus, your efforts preserved this valuable resource for hundreds of thousands of students.

The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days, and the Department of Education is fast-tracking guidance related to the revival of the program and its associated changes.  COHEAO will be working closely with the Department of Education to distribute information as soon as it becomes available.

A pressing question relates to “Excess Liquid Capital” (ELC).  Many schools have received letters regarding their Perkins funds’ ELC that request return of the excess funds.  This is standard practice, and in the past, the Department has allowed schools to appeal the call to return ELC by showing how they intended to use the funds to provide more loans for students.  Nothing is official, but we expect this practice to continue.

Thank you for all of your hard work in promoting Perkins Loans.  Today is a day to celebrate and think about the impact your voice had on extending this program for thousands of students.  After we all take a break and catch our breaths, we’re going to need those voices again next year as the Higher Education Act reauthorization process continues and we work to preserve and improve Perkins for the long term.

Click here to view a fact sheet on the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015.