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Office of Financial Aid
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Federal Student Aid > Federal Perkins Loan

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Federal Student Aid

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is awarded on the basis of exceptional need. The loan comes from a limited amount of federal funds allocated to Teachers College. Teachers College is your lender for the Federal Perkins Loan, therefore, you must repay this loan to the College. 

The Federal Perkins Loan is not automatically awarded to students. Students must submit a letter of request to our office asking to be considered for the loan. We encourage you to make the letter as detailed as possible and demonstrate how the Federal Perkins Loan would be beneficial to you as you pursue a graduate education at Teachers College. Because our Federal Perkins Loan funding is limited, we are unable to provide the funding to every student who requests it.

This particular loan has the lowest interest rate of all of the federal loans. It also has the longest grace period.

Federal Perkins Loan Highlights

  • Interest rate: 5%
  • Grace period: Nine months after a student graduates or drops below half-time status (six credits or the equivalent)
  • Processing fees: $0
  • Repayment: Up to 10 years
  • Cancellation and/or deferment: Provisions may be available, including cancellation of portions of the loan for teachers in specific areas.

How to Apply

  1. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Try to complete your FAFSA by February 1st to be considered for this loan. Make sure that the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) is included.
  2. You must also submit a formal letter of request to the Teachers College Office of Financial Aid requesting the Federal Perkins Loan. The letter should describe the reasons that the Federal Perkins Loan would be financially beneficial to you as you pursue your graduate degree at Teachers College.
Perkins funds are limited, so submitting your FAFSA to Teachers College and writing a formal request will be crucial in determining your Federal Perkins Loan eligibility. You should do these things as early as possible. All formal letters should be e-mailed to with the subject “Federal Perkins Loan Request.” Please be sure to include your TCID number in your letter.

All formal letters will be reviewed in August and a decision will be made by middle of the fall term. The maximum amount of Federal Perkins Loan awarded per academic year per student will be $4000 - $6000. Federal Perkins Loan offers are subject to change based on the level of funding the school receives.

Accepting your Federal Perkins Loan
If you are awarded, you will receive an e-mail from the Office of Financial Aid containing further instructions. You will follow this link to complete the Perkins Master Promissory Note.