Perkins Loan borrowers may be entitled to have all or a portion of a Perkins Loan cancelled due to performance of qualifying services or occupations.
Upon making a properly documented written request to the University of Oregon, a Perkins Loan borrower may be entitled to have up to 100% of the original principal amount of the loan cancelled for work performed in qualifying services or occupations. Qualifying services or occupations must be performed subsequent to receiving the loan.
Note: With the exception of the early childhood education and volunteer service cancellations, the cancellation rate per completed year of qualifying full-time service is:
- First and second years: 15% of the original principal loan amount, plus the interest that accrued during the year.
- Third and fourth years: 20% of the original principal loan amount, plus the interest that accrued during the year.
- Fifth year: 30% of the original principal loan amount, plus any interest that accrued during the year.
- A “year of service” consists of 12 consecutive months of service, except for teaching service, where the borrower must teach full-time for a full academic year or its equivalent.
Teaching in low-income schools
A borrower qualifies for this cancellation by teaching full-time in a low-income public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school, or by teaching full-time for an educational service agency (ESA) listed in the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory, Designated Low-Income Schools. All elementary and secondary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are considered to qualify as schools serving low-income families and elementary and secondary schools operated on reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract with the BIA are also considered to qualify for this purpose.
Teaching in special education
A person who provides one of the following services does not qualify as a teacher unless (1) that person is licensed, certified, or registered by the appropriate state education agency for that area in which he or she is providing related special educational services and (2) the services provided by the individual are part of the educational curriculum for handicapped children:
- speech and language pathology and audiology
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- psychological and counseling services; or
- recreational therapy
Teaching in a field of expertise (shortage area)
A person teaching in a field of expertise that has been identified by a state education agency to have a shortage of teachers, the majority of classes taught must be in that field of expertise. A borrower who is teaching in science, mathematics, foreign language, bilingual education or any other field may qualify ( FSA updated 8/12/16). http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf
A cancellation based on a borrower who has been employed full time as a qualified professional provider of early intervention services in a public or other nonprofit program under public supervision. Early intervention services are provided to infants and toddlers with disabilities.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served full time as a qualifying law enforcement or corrections officer.
To establish the eligibility of a borrower for the law enforcement or corrections officer cancellation provision, the school must determine that (1) the borrower's employing agency is eligible and that (2) the borrower's position is essential to the agency's primary mission.
- A local, state, or federal agency is an eligible employing agency if it is publicly funded and its activities pertain to crime prevention, control, or reduction or to the enforcement of the criminal law. Such activities include, but are not limited to, police efforts to prevent, control, or reduce crime or to apprehend criminals; activities of courts and related agencies having criminal jurisdiction; activities of corrections, probation, or parole authorities; and problems relating to the prevention, control, or reduction of juvenile delinquency or narcotic addiction.
Agencies that are primarily responsible for enforcement of civil, regulatory, or administrative laws are ineligible. However, in recognition of the fact that the activities of many divisions and bureaus within local, state, and federal agencies pertain to crime prevention, control, or reduction, or to the enforcement of criminal law, the Department has determined that a sub-unit within a larger, non-law enforcement agency may qualify as a law enforcement agency for purposes of a law enforcement cancellation.
- For the borrowers position to be considered essential to the agencys primary mission, he or she must be a full-time employee of an eligible agency and a sworn law enforcement or corrections officer or person whose principal responsibilities are unique to the criminal justice system and are essential in the performance of the agency's primary
The law enforcement/corrections officer cancellation is expanded to include full-time attorneys employed in Federal Public Defender Organizations or Community Defender Organizations, established in accordance with Section 3006A(g)(2) of Title 18, U.S.C.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served full time as a nurse or medical technician providing health care services. The borrower must provide health care services directly to patients.
A cancellation based on a borrower who must be providing services directly and exclusively to high-risk children from low-income communities and to the families of these children, or supervising the provision of such services. Any services provided to the children’s families must be secondary to the services provided to the children.
For purposes of this cancellation:
- High-risk children are defined as individuals under the age of 21 who are low-income or at risk of abuse or neglect; have been abused or neglected; have serious emotional, mental, or behavioral disturbances; reside in placements outside their homes; or are involved in the juvenile justice system.
- Low-income communities are communities in which there is a high concentration of children eligible to be counted under Title I rules.
The types of services a borrower may provide to qualify for a child or family service cancellation include child care and child development services, health, mental health and psychological services, as well as social services. The Department has determined that an elementary or secondary school system, a hospital, or an institution of higher education is not an eligible employing agency.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served:
- as a full-time staff member in a Head Start program; or
- as a full-time staff member of a pre-kindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by the state.
For purposes of these early education cancellations
- “Head Start” is a preschool program carried out under the Head Start Act (subchapter B, chapter 8 of Title VI of Pub. L. 97–35, the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended; formerly authorized under section 222(a)(1) of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964). (42 U.S.C. 2809(a)(1)).
- A pre-kindergarten program is a state-funded program that serves children from birth through age six and addresses the children’s cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development.
- A child care program is a program that is licensed or regulated by the state and provides child care services for fewer than 24 hours per day per child, unless care in excess of 24 consecutive hours are needed due to the nature of the parents’ work.
- A full-time staff member is someone who is regularly employed in a full-time professional capacity to carry out the educational part of the early education program.
The cancellation rate is 15% of the original loan principal, plus the interest on the unpaid balance accruing during the year of qualifying service for each complete academic year or its equivalent of full-time teaching service.
A school must cancel up to 100% of the outstanding balance of a Perkins loan for a full year of active duty service in the U.S. armed forces in an area of hostilities or an area of imminent danger that qualifies for special pay. The “U.S. armed forces” are the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
The borrower’s commanding officer must certify the borrower’s service dates. Active duty service for less than a complete year or a fraction of a year beyond a complete year does not qualify. A complete year of service is 12 consecutive months.
In areas that qualify for hostile fire/imminent danger pay the borrower does not have to serve the full 12 months of active duty service to qualify for the cancellation. If a borrower is on active duty in such an area for any part of a month, that month counts towards the borrower’s eligibility for a military cancellation.
The cancellation rate is the standard progression for up to 100% cancellation: 15% for the first and second year of qualifying service, 20% for the third and fourth year of qualifying service, and 30% for the fifth year of qualifying service.
Military cancellations for earlier loans
- Cancellation up to 50% of a Defense loan after April 13, 1970, for the borrower’s full-time active service starting after June 30, 1970, in the U.S. armed forces.
- Cancellation up to 50% of the outstanding balance on a Perkins/NDSL Loan for active duty service that ended before August 14, 2008, as a member of the U.S. armed forces in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under section 310 of title 37 of the United States Code.
The cancellation rate is 12.5% of the original loan principal, plus the interest on the unpaid balance accruing during the year of qualifying service for each completed year of qualifying service.
.NOTE: U.S. ARMY LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM The U.S. Army offers a loan repayment program as an enlistment incentive. If a Perkins Loan (or Stafford Loan) borrower serves as an enlisted person in the U.S. Army, in the Army Reserves, or in the Army National Guard, the U.S. Department of Defense will repay a portion of the loan. For more information, the student should contact his or her local military recruiting office. This is a recruitment program, not a cancellation, and does not pertain to an individual's prior Army service.
A cancellation up to 70% of a Perkins Loan if the borrower has served as a Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA (under Title I, Part A of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973) volunteer. An authorized official of the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA program must sign the borrower’s cancellation form to certify the borrower’s service.
AmeriCorps volunteers do not qualify for this cancellation unless their volunteer service is with AmeriCorps VISTA. An AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer may only qualify for this cancellation if the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer elects not to receive a national service education award for his or her volunteer service. The AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer must provide appropriate documentation showing that the volunteer has declined the AmeriCorps national service education award.
Cancellation for volunteer service in the following increments:
- 15% of the original principal loan amount—plus any interest that accrued during the year—for each of the first and second 12-month periods of service; and
- 20% of the original principal loan amount—plus any interest that accrued during the year—for each of the third and fourth 12-month periods of service. For Peace Corps Volunteers, the 12-month periods of service include any pre-enrollment training the volunteer receives at the Peace Corps post.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served as a full time firefighter. A firefighter is an individual who is employed by a federal, state, or local firefighting agency to extinguish destructive fires or provide firefighting related services such as conducting search and rescue, providing hazardous materials (HAZMAT) mitigation, or providing community disaster support and, as a first responder, providing emergency medical services.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served as a full-time faculty member at a tribal college or university.
The Department of Education provides a list of tribal colleges and universities on its Web site at http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whtc/edlite-tclist.html#MN.
A cancellation based on a borrower who has served as a full time librarian with a master's degree in library science and who are employed in an elementary or secondary school that qualifies for Title I funding, or in a public library that serves a geographic area that includes one or more Title I schools.
A cancellation based on a borrower who is a full-time speech language pathologist with a master's degree working exclusively with Title I eligible schools.
A speech pathologist is someone who evaluates or treats disorders that affect a person’s speech; language; cognition; voice; swallowing and the rehabilitative or corrective treatment of physical or cognitive deficits/disorders resulting in difficulty with communication, swallowing, or both; and who has obtained a postgraduate academic degree awarded after the completion of an academic program of up to six years in duration (excluding a doctorate or professional degree).
Discharge for Death
A cancellation of the remaining balance of any Perkins Loan if the borrower is deceased. Documentation of death of the borrower includes an original or certified copy of the death certificate, or an accurate and complete photocopy of the death certificate.
Total and Permanent Disability Discharge and Veterans Disability Discharge
A cancellation of the remaining balance of any Perkins Loan if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled. Total and permanent disability is the inability to work and earn money because of an injury or illness that is expected to continue indefinitely or to result in death.
- Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (nonveterans) The borrower must submit to the Department a TPD discharge application certified by a physician who is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice in a state. By signing the TPD discharge application, the physician certifies that the borrower is totally and permanently disabled, as defined in the Perkins Loan Program regulations. The borrower must submit the application to the Department within 90 days of the date the physician signed it. Alternatively, instead of having a physician certify the TPD discharge request, a borrower may provide the Department with documentation from the Social Security Administration (SSA) showing that the borrower qualifies for SSA disability benefits and that the borrower’s next SSA disability review will be within five to seven years.
- Discharge for service-connected disability (veterans) A veteran’s Perkins Loan will be discharged if the veteran is unemployable due to a service-connected disability, as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Beginning July 1, 2013, to qualify for discharge of a Perkins loan based on a disability determination by the VA, a veteran must submit a completed copy of the TPD discharge application to the Department. The veteran does not need to obtain a physician’s certification or provide documentation of eligibility for SSA disability benefits with the application. Instead, the veteran must include documentation from the VA showing that the veteran is unemployable due to a service-connected disability. The veteran will not be required to provide any additional documentation related to his or her disability. For questions about applying for a discharge under the special standard for certain veterans or to check on the status of a previously submitted application that has not yet been referred to the DOE, the borrower should contact the Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer in Denver, CO
The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) has one contact point for borrowers seeking assistance with total and permanent disability discharge questions. This one contact point, the Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer, handles both general total and permanent disability discharge and veterans disability discharge.
TDD/TTY: A borrower who is hearing-impaired may Web chat with a representative by visiting the total and permanent disability Web site and clicking on "Chat Now".
Web site: www.disabilitydischarge.com
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Sunday
Special Assistance Team: A borrower who has special needs and requires assistance navigating the total and permanent disability discharge process simply needs to request assistance when he or she contacts the Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer.
Discharge for spouses and parents of September 11, 2001 victims
A discharge of the outstanding balance of a Perkins Loan made to the spouse of an eligible public servant. An eligible public servant is a police officer, firefighter, or other safety or rescue personnel, or a member of the Armed Forces, who died or became permanently and totally disabled due to injuries suffered in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The discharge pertains to loan amounts that were owed on September 11, 2001. There is no refunding of any payments made on a loan prior to the loan discharge date.
Discharge for Bankruptcy
Effective for bankruptcies filed on or after October 8, 1998, a borrower who receives a general discharge in bankruptcy does not by that order obtain a discharge of a loan that has been in repayment for seven years or more at the time of the bankruptcy filing. For these bankruptcies, a student loan is discharged by a general discharge order only if the borrower also obtains a court ruling that repayment of the loan would impose an undue hardship on the borrower and his or her dependents.