NAICU Washington Update

Perkins Scare

May 17, 2011

A number of institutions received alarming information recently:  the Department of Education's eCampus-Based (eCB) website showed that they had no Perkins allocation for the coming academic year. 

It seems that there was some sort of glitch in the data, and the institutional "level of expenditure" box was erroneously marked "0."  (The level of expenditure is the amount an institution can lend from its Perkins Loan revolving fund.) The Department has confirmed that the error resulted from some kind of technical malfunction, and has now made available additional information on the problem.

Perkins is a campus-based program that colleges and the federal government contributed to in years past. Although there has been no new money for the Perkins Loan Program for several years, loans have continued to be issued through institutional revolving funds. As loans are repaid, the money is lent to new students.

In reporting on the incident to its members, NASFAA noted that "on May 6, the Department directed institutions to check the eCB website for revised 2011-12 funding levels and awards, as a result of cuts made in the final FY 2011 continuing resolution," which resulted in institutions discovering the erroneous information.

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