Despite efforts by the higher education community to extend the Perkins Loan Program as Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, no such action was taken when both chambers passed—and President Donald Trump signed—a spending bill that funds the government for the remainder of FY18.
Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) and the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) had sent a letter to House leaders urging for an extension of the Perkins Loan Program as Congress considered the spending bill. While their letter had the support of 99 members, extension language was not included in the final bill.
The fate of the program again remains uncertain. Institutions may choose to assign Perkins Loans to the Department of Education or liquidate their revolving fund. However, when loans are assigned, ED keeps all monies collected and does not reimburse the institutional share. If an institution keeps operating the program and remits excess cash annually, on the other hand, the institution can keep its share and repurpose the funds.
The program was last extended in 2015. As a result, schools could make new Perkins Loans to graduate students through September 30, 2016, and to undergraduate students through September 30, 2017. If loans were made to eligible undergraduates before October 1 for the 2017-18 award year, the student can receive subsequent disbursements of that loan through June 30, 2018. No disbursements are permitted after June 30, 2018.