Despite a last minute push to bring the Perkins Loan Extension Act to a vote on the house floor, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee blocked the legislation last week, effectively ending the Perkins Loan Program which provided low interest loans to more than 500,000 needy students across the country. “We need a much simpler program for federal student loans and the end of the Perkins Loan program is a small step toward that end,” Alexander said.
This isn’t the first time the Perkins program has expired and it might not be the last. In 2015, the program ended, only to be reauthorized a few months later. However if and until such time, schools may not make loans to new borrowers beginning on October 1, 2017. For current borrowers with existing loans made in the fall of 2017, schools may continue to make any remaining eligible disbursements until June 30, 2018. All other grandfathering provisions expired.