About The Perkins Loan

  • The Federal Perkins Loan is a long-term, 5% interest loan with no fees.
  • The Perkins is a need-based loan that is awarded through the Financial Aid Office.
  • The Perkins is awarded to undergraduate, graduate and professional students with exceptional financial need.
  • The amount awarded is determined by the student's need and the availability of funds.
  • The federal government subsidizes or pays the interest on the loan while you are enrolled at least half-time, in your grace period or in an eligible deferment.

How to Apply

  • To apply for the Perkins Loan, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the University of South Dakota's priority deadline of April 1. This loan is awarded on a priority basis based on the FAFSA receipt date.
  • A separate Master Promissory Note (MPN) is needed for this loan.
  • The Perkins Loan is a loan and will need to be repaid.


  • Payments begin nine months after you graduate or cease half-time enrollment.
  • The minimum monthly payment is $40 with a maximum repayment term of 10 years.
  • The Perkins Loan has a fixed interest rate of 5% for the life of the loan.
  • The Federal Perkins Loan offers cancellation and deferment provisions outlined in the promissory note. You will receive more information on this subject in the Perkins Loan exit interview. For more information visit the Business Office, Loan Department in Slagle Hall.