Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan is a need based, long-term, low-interest, fixed rate loan for undergraduate and graduate students. This loan is partially funded by the federal government and by NAU. NAU is considered the lender and administrator of this loan program. This is a Title IV program which means it is governed by the federal regulations set by the Department of Education. 

The Federal Perkins Loan must be repaid. When the borrowers repay the loan, the money goes directly back into the Perkins Loan Fund. The monies are then redistributed to current students as new Perkins loans. The Perkins Loan is available to both undergraduate and graduate students and is awarded by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid on the basis of need. 

Interest rate and repayment terms

Perkins loans have a 0% interest rate while you are enrolled in college at least half time, and during a nine month grace period after you leave school. Repayment begins at the end of the grace period and lasts for a period of 10 years, during which interest is charged at 5%. You can apply for a deferment if you enroll in graduate school, become unemployed, or meet other conditions specified on your promissory note.

Entrance interviews

If awarded a Perkins loan by the Office of Student Financial Aid, you must complete two steps in order to receive the loan:

  • sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • complete Entrance Counseling online 

The steps for completing the MPN and entrance counseling are available to students on their LOUIE To Do list. Please allow a 24-hour period between signing the MPN and completing the entrance counseling for LOUIE to update your To Do List. Please email with any questions regarding this process. You will not receive the Perkins Loan without completing these steps. 

Exit interviews

Federal regulations require that all Perkins borrowers complete an exit interview if any of the following occur:

  • Student graduates from NAU. 
  • Student drops below six credit hours for fall or spring semester. 
  • Student withdraws from NAU at any time. 
  • Student transfers to another university or college. 

Graduate students who drop below six credit hours and are enrolled in thesis or dissertation coursework will have their Perkins loan deferred. Failure to complete an exit interview will result in a hold being placed on our transcript records and your diploma. To start Exit Counseling, go to Perkins Exit Counseling.

After completing exit counseling, you will receive information about your particular loan, along with a loan disclosure statement, which you must sign and return. 

NOTE: Exit counseling required for the Perkins Loan is separate from the exit counseling required for Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans). 

Please forward any questions regarding exit counseling or loan repayment via email to:

For more information, visit Perkins Loan Repayment on the Student and Departmental Account Services website.