"The long-time federal Perkins Loan Program for college and university students expired at the end of September after a two-year extension in 2015. Higher education officials fear the end of the program could mean a gap in financial aid for low-income students," Wisconsin Public Radio reports.
"The program offers low-interest loans of up to $5,500 each year to students most in need. Last year, public and private universities in Wisconsin awarded 27,513 loans worth roughly $60.5 million, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Donna Dahlvang, director of financial aid at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, said the program’s end could put more pressure on financially strapped families and students.
'We’re a campus with a student body who has significant financial need. Many of our students do qualify for the Perkins because you have to exhibit need,' she said. 'I think they’re going to feel that moving forward.'
The university awarded roughly $300,000 in Perkins loans to 185 students in the 2016-17 academic year, said Dahlvang. She said the institution is unable to backfill any funding that may be lost.
Students who received a Perkins loan before Sept. 30 will be eligible to receive a loan during the spring term. However, institutions won’t be able to disburse loans after June 30 without action from Congress."
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Publication Date: 11/13/2017