Last week legislation (H.R. 5448) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to push the statutory deadline for returning the federal share of Perkins Loan collection from October 2012 to October 2013.
The legislation is intended to address confusion about when the Perkins Loan Program is scheduled to end. The re-authorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) took several years, during which original dates for distribution of loan fund capital and subsequent collections stopped being updated.
In addition, current language in the HEA (Section 466) calls for schools to return their federal share by October 2012 even though the latest re-authorization of the HEA reauthorized the Perkins program through fiscal year 2014 (Section 461).
Finally, the Obama Administration has sent clear signals that it is interested in changing the Perkins Loan Program, though no changes have been made to date.
Sponsored by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and John Spratt (D-SC) the hope is that, if passed, the legislation will allow the financial aid community additional time to sort through the future of the Perkins Loan Program.