The Federal Perkins Loan has been offered to students since 1958 and was set to offer assistance to students with low income and few other options. Now it stands to lose its place at Lane due to a combination of poor timing, confusion in congress and a lack of eligible students.
“It was really meant to help minorities, first-time college students and extremely low-income students,” Cynthia Deshpande, Lane student accounts loan advisor, said in an interview with The Register-Guard.
One of the many advantages of this Loan is that if a student were to go into some sort of public service, such as military or EMT, it would cancel any and all money owed on the debt.
Helen Faith, Director of Financial Aid at Lane, believes that the Program itself is on its final legs.
“The value of the program has not kept up with the cost of school,” said Faith.
The cost of college has risen almost 1,120 percent in the last 30 years according to a study conducted by Bloomberg.
“We ended it on Oct. 1, 2015. There were too few student in the summer terms that were eligible,” said Faith. “Then congress placed a two year extension on the program.”
H.R 3594, the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015, was not only an extension of the program but also the final nail in the coffin. It prohibits any further automatic extensions on the Perkins Loan and is almost certainly the end for it.
“We are waiting for guidance,” said Faith, referring to the financial aid department’s confusion on where to go with the program from here.
Many Lane students are less than happy about the turn of events.
“The college should be trying to do everything it can for its students.” said Megan Kain, a double major in writing. “Its sad, it’s frustrating because that money can help a lot of people. Maybe they can collaborate so the school can get the help they need with figuring out the loan.”