About Federal Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest loans that the student takes out and the student repays. These loans are subsidized so they do not accrue interest while a student is in school or during the nine months after they leave school (grace period).

Effective July 1, 2018, Federal Perkins Loan funds can no longer be offered to students. Students with existing loans will be allowed to repay the loans under the original terms they agreed to when signing their promissory notes.

Repayment is administered by the Bursar's Office and serviced through our loan servicing partner, Heartland ECSI.

Awarded to students with exceptional need who are enrolled at least half-time and meet additional requirements. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is valid for up to 10 years, and will be used for all Perkins loans borrowed while enrolled at Rice.

The interest rate is 5.0%, and repayment begins 9 months after the student graduates, drops below half-time or withdraws from Rice..

Students who plan to stop attending Rice University at least half time in an eligible program (whether due to graduating or a change in enrollment status), will be sent an email to their Rice University email account from Heartland ECSI, instructing them on how to complete the Exit Counseling process. Exit Counseling provides repayment options and helps students to understand what to expect upon entering into repayment.

Exit Counseling is a requirement for all loan funded students at Rice University and must be completed before diploma and final official transcript will be released.

Click HERE to complete Exit Counseling.

Repayment of Federal Perkins Loans begins nine months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). This nine month period of time is known as a grace period.

If a student begins attending before the full nine months has transpired, then when they cease enrollment again, they will have a full grace period.

If a student begins repayment on their student loans and then returns to school at least half-time, their existing loans will go into deferment (payment suspended). However, when they cease enrollment again, repayment will begin immediately as they have already used the grace period on those loans. Any new loans borrowed will have a grace period.

The standard repayment plan requires that the student pay a minimum of $40 a month and have the loan paid off in ten years.The Federal Perkins Loans is repaid to Rice University.

Sample Loan Repayment Schedule

A student who borrows $5,000 at an interest rate of 5% and uses the standard repayment schedule (120 equal payments) will have monthly payments of $53. When the loan is paid in full after 10 years they will have paid a total of $6,364.

To receive a customized loan repayment schedule students can access the US Department of Education's Repayment Estimator or the loan calculators at finaid.org.

Make a Payment

Payments can be made online at Heartland ECSI.

If you are unable to make your scheduled monthly loan payments, ECSI may be able to grant a forbearance or deferment for up to one year at a time and a maximum of three years. Forbearance and deferment allows you to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payments temporarily.


Students falling into the following situation may request Forbearance. To request Forbearance, complete the applicable form found at Heartland ECSI Borrower Forms.

  • Your monthly student loan payment is equal to or more than 20% of your total monthly gross income
  • Poor Health


Students may request Deferment for any of the situations below. To request Deferment, complete the applicable form found at Heartland ECSI Borrower Forms.

  • Unemployment: if you are temporarily unable to make student loan payments because you are unable to find work.
  • Graduate Fellowship
  • Economic Hardship: willing but unable to make student loan payments for economic reasons.
  • In School: continuing your education or participating in a qualifying rehabilitation program while enrolled at least half time.
  • Military: members of the Armed Forces and serving on active duty during a way, military operation, or national emergency. Post-active students deferments are also available.

Perkins Loans Forgiveness

Students who work in one of the below fields may be eligible to have a portion, or all, of their Perkins Loan forgiven. Students currently in repayment and are interested in Perkins Loan Forgiveness, contact Heartland ECSI for more information.

  • Full-time Firefighter
  • Full-time Law Enforcement or Corrections Office
  • Full-time Nurse or Medical Technician
  • VISTA or Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Librarian with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible elementary or secondary school or Public Library serving Title I eligible schools
  • Full-time attorney employed in a federal, public, or community defender organization
  • Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child- or family-services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families form low-income communities
  • Full-time staff member in the education component of a Head Start Program
  • Full-time staff member in a pre-kindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by a state
  • Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Full-time speech pathologist with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible elementary or secondary school
  • Full-time special education teacher of children with disabilities in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school
  • Full-time teacher of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual educator, or other fields designated as teacher shortage area
  • Full-time special education teacher of children with disabilities in an educational service agency
  • Full-time teacher in a designated educational service agency serving students from low-income families
  • Full-time faculty member at a tribal college or university