Office of Business Operations

Perkins Loan | Teacher Postponement/Cancellation

Full-time, full-year employment in many different fields of teaching qualifies for cancellation of your Perkins Loan.


  1. A person who provides direct classroom teaching.
  2. A person who provides classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting.
  3. Provides educational services to students directly related to classroom teaching such as school librarians or school guidance counselors.

Examples of positions that may qualify that are many times over-looked as qualifying teachers include, but are not limited to: coaches, guidance counselors, learning lab staff, librarians, resource teachers, library aides. Teachers’ aides, assistant teachers, and paraprofessionals may qualify under certain conditions. Examples of staff that would NOT BE ELIGIBLE would be business officers, campus store clerks, secretaries, medical staff, custodial staff, cafeteria staff because they do not provide direct and personal service for the student's educational development.

You must be directly employed by the school system. That requirement may be met by meeting one of the following criteria:

  1. A facility recognized or licensed by the state to provide elementary or secondary education. OR
  2. An agency licensed by the state to provide education as mandated by state law.

If you are employed as a physical, occupational, or recreational therapist or speech pathologist/audiologist, psychiatrist or psychologist, you may qualify but must meet special criteria. You must be licensed, certified, or registered in the profession by the state agency and you must be providing services as part of the educational curriculum. This will require you providing a copy of your license, certificate, registration, or endorsement, and an official job description or letter from a school official verifying your work as part of the educational curriculum.

Qualifying Employment:

  1. A full-time, full-year teacher in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school serving low-income families and designated as eligible by the Department of Education. A list of low-income schools by year can be found online at Under Repaying Your Loans, click Repayment Information, then on teacher cancellation. All elementary and secondary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are considered to qualify as eligible low-income schools.
  2. A full-time, full-year special education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school. Disabled children are defined the same as handicapped children above. The majority of students must be between the ages of 0 and 21.
  3. A full-time, full-year teacher of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field of expertise that is determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.

GENERAL PROCESS:The postponement is the first step in the cancellation process. It stops all billings and keeps your account from going past due until the end of this twelve-month period.  The cancellation is the second and final step in the process. By requesting cancellation, you are telling us you have now completed the year of service and are now eligible to have a portion of your loan forgiven (cancelled).

IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLETE YOUR YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT: Your postponement is then considered a deferment. You will need to send verification of your last date of employment, and we will use that as your deferment end date. There is a six-month grace period following this deferment in which no interest accrues and no payments are due.

RATES OF CANCELLATION: 15% of the original principal balance, plus interest for the first and second year, 20% for the third and fourth years, and 30% for the fifth year. If you continue in eligible employment and file all your forms, your loan would be cancelled in full at the end of five years.