Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan Program lapsed on September 30, 2015, cutting off the ability for colleges and universities to make Perkins loans to new borrowers.  The bipartisan Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 builds on a bill unanimously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in September and provides for an extension of the Perkins Loan Program through 2016 for current graduate borrowers and through 2017 for new and current undergraduate borrowers. Students must first exhaust their eligibility for a subsidized Direct Loan before receiving a Federal Perkins loan. 

In addition to already established Perkins eligibility requirements, graduate students must also meet all of the criteria listed below in order to qualify for a Perkins Loan, if funds are available:

  1. The student must have received a Perkins Loan before October 1, 2015.
  2. The student must be enrolled at the same institution where the last Perkins Loan was received. In other words, in order to receive a Perkins Loan from Empire State College, the student must have received his or her last Perkins Loan disbursement from Empire State College.
  3. The student must be enrolled in the same academic program for which the last Perkins Loan disbursement was received.

Aggregate Limits

  • $5,500 for each year of undergraduate study. The total that can be outstanding as an undergraduate is $27,500.
  • $8,000 for each year of graduate study. The total debt you can have outstanding as a graduate student is $60,000 (including any Perkins Loans borrowed as an undergraduate).

Loan Counseling Interview and Master Promissory Note

  • An initial loan counseling interview is required yearly before the first payment is disbursed and upon termination of study at Empire State College.
  • A master promissory note is a legal document that binds the borrower to the repayment obligations, the terms of the law setting up the program and policies which govern it.
  • The student must sign the master promissory note before any loan funds can be disbursed.


  • No interest accrues during study.
  • Current interest rate is 5 percent.


  • Loan amounts are advanced to the borrower in installments apportioned to the enrollment terms for which he/she is actually enrolled at Empire State College.
  • Credits are made to the student account.
  • Any surplus will be disbursed directly to the student.

Repayment Term/Process

  • Repayment begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
  • 90 days after the loan recipient terminates enrollment, the loan is transferred to the Student Loan Service Center (SLSC), State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246.
  • The Student Loan Service Center is responsible for the collection of all loan repayments.
  • Repayment of principal and interest is made in equal monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly installments.
  • Borrowers may request graduated payments in accordance with a schedule approved by the Student Loan Service Center and the U.S. Commissioner of Education.
  • Minimum $40 per month payment is required for loan borrowers with a disbursement after Oct. 1, 1999, who have no outstanding principal or interest owing on any Perkins Loan, direct loan or defense loan. The length of repayment is determined by the amount borrowed, the interest rate and the repayment amount.

Loan Cancellation/Deferment

  • Deferments are available if the student returns to half-time study and on a hardship basis.
  • Students can check their promissory note for deferments that apply to the loan.
  • Students should contact the Student Loan Service Center if they return to half-time study or have questions regarding possible deferments for which they might be eligible.
  • Any deferment/cancellation/repayment questions should be referred to the Student Loan Service Center, State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12245.

NOTE: Forbearance, deferment and cancellation are not automatic. Students must request federal Perkins Loan forbearance, deferment and cancellation by contacting the Student Loan Service Center at 518-525-2626.

The Student Loan Service Center voice response system allows borrowers to access the Student Loan Service Center's database and request the following information on their SUNY Perkins Loan, health professions or nursing student loan:

  • The date of their last payment
  • A close-out balance - if they wish to pay their loan in full
  • Student deferment application (Perkins Loans)
  • Student, military or advanced professional training deferment application (health professions/nursing student loans)

Borrowers may choose to have their call transferred to a loan representative during their inquiry via the voice response system, or they may leave a message for the Student Loan Service Center, if they are unable to reach a representative at the time of their call. The voice response system is available during the following hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

A federal Perkins Loan borrower may access this system by dialing 518-525-2626 and selecting option two from the host inquiry menu. To obtain account information, the borrower must enter his or her account number and assign a PIN to be used in any future calls.

Deferral and partial cancellation of loans under the Peace Corps Act

Contact us


Fax: 518-581-2782

Mailing Address: 
Empire State College
Financial Aid
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Questions? Contact the Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.


Code: 010286
Name: SUC Empire State College

TAP Codes

Undergraduate: 0913
Graduate: 5680 (for graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards)


Students planning to attend 2016-2017 should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for 2016-2017.   Students wishing to get an early jump on applying for financial aid for 2017-2018 (enrollments beginning on or after May 15, 2017) can do so by submitting the 2017-2018 FAFSA.

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.