August Update: Support for Perkins Loans Continues to Grow on Capitol Hill, Schools Need to Disburse All Available Funds

August 29, 2017 · by mlivolsi · Spark Notes

The Perkins Loan Program is in jeopardy with expiration on the horizon and the HEA reauthorization process stalled.  It’s a familiar challenge, but also one we have faced and conquered many times.  As was the case in 2015, there is another opportunity for Congress to pass an extension. Two years ago, our success resulted from the hard work of the higher education community, and this year’s extension can only be achieved if we have your continued demonstration of support.  

What You Can Do To Support Perkins Now: 

  • Disburse all available Perkins Loan Funds 
    • All eligible students can receive a Perkins Loan for AY 2017-18 even if the program expires on 9/30/17, as long as the first disbursement is made by 9/30/17.  Eligible students can receive their Perkins awards through 6/30/18. 
    • To ensure eligibility, make sure students complete their loan documents prior to 9/30/17.
    • Lend ALL available Perkins loan funds in the 2017-2018 academic year to prevent EXCESS CASH. (Increase award amounts, package for financial aid appeals, etc.) 
    • Packaging “New” students with even a minimal Perkins Loan this year allows them to have access to Perkins Loans next year (if extended) as a “Current” student-eliminating the requirement to award Unsubsidized Direct Loans first. 
    • Do not liquidate your Perkins Loan fund. Your students will lose access to low-cost, subsidized loans and your institution will not be able to recoup its investment of Institutional Capital Contributions (ICC).  Schools that liquidate their portfolios will always lose any hope for reimbursement of its institutional share of cancelled loan funds. 
  • Three easy and important ways to Support the Perkins Program:
  1. Write a Testimonial (for Perkins Borrowers and Administrators)
  2. Promote our new Perkins Advocacy Video by sharing on social media and your website!
  3.  Ask your Congressional Members to Cosponsor the Perkins Loan Extension Act.

The effort to preserve Perkins Loans is in full swing! Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) have introduced a bill to extend the Perkins Loan Program for a period of two (2) years until Congress can determine the future of all Title IV programs during consideration of the Higher Education Act. The extension bill has strong bipartisan support with 81 Cosponsors!  However, our current momentum and Congressional support can evaporate if schools are not lending ALL available Perkins funds. Perkins Loan supporters need to be advocates for the Perkins Program with Federal policymakers and their colleagues on campus. The fight is far from over! 

Please feel free to email Wes Huffman ( with any questions of if you need assistance with your advocacy efforts.  Additional information is also available at the COHEAO Advocacy Page  of our website. 

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