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STUDENTS, PARENTS, HIGHER EDUCATION ADVOCATES, ADMINISTRATORS AND SUPPORTERS
Did the Federal Perkins Loan Program help you afford a college education? Have you worked with or do you know students that have benefited from a Perkins loan? If so, please help save the Perkins Loan Program by signing our petition today.
This proven and longstanding loan program is in jeopardy. In order for the program to continue beyond the 2016-17 award year, Congress must reauthorize the program or extend the September 30, 2017 sunset date. Perkins Loans provide critical support to students with economic need, offering low-cost loans with flexible repayment terms and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented. In 2013-2014, close to 500,000 students with need were awarded nearly $1.1 billion in Perkins loans, with an average amount of $2,014 awarded per student. This funding is critical to students who may not qualify for any other financing options, including more costly private loans, and therefore would be unable to complete their education.
Help Save the Perkins Loan Program!
I am writing to urge you to let Congress know the importance of preserving the Perkins Loan Program with its low cost to students and traditional school-based structure. As a student, I know how important Perkins Loans are to making higher education possible.
Since 1958, the Federal Perkins Loan Program has provided a unique combination of important benefits to undergraduate and graduate students with economic need. Perkins Loans:
- Do not accrue interest while I am in school and for nine months afterwards which can reduce my student debt by thousands of dollars;
- Carry a low, fixed interest rate, have no origination fees, and defer payments until nine months after students leave school;
- Come from campus-based revolving funds that combine federal and institutional matching contributions.
Another unique benefit of the Perkins Loan Program is its cancellation benefits. Perkins cancellation opportunities are far more flexible and helpful for borrowers than those available to Stafford Loan borrows. Students are able to have their Perkins Loans cancelled if they enter any one of 16 public service professions including teaching, firefighting, speech pathology, the military and nursing.
I believe it is important to keep these benefits for future Perkins borrowers. Without Congressional action by September 30, 2017, the Federal Perkins Loan Program could be eliminated leaving thousands of students without this much-needed form of federal student aid. I urge you to support the continuation of the Perkins Loan program so that all students, regardless of their financial standing, have the opportunity to attend college.
Thank you for your attention and I am counting on your support.
Maria Livolsi President of COHEAO started this petition with a single signature, and now has 22,902 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.