Financial Aid Office

Federal Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan is a federal, fixed, low-interest loan program administered by Cleveland State. Awards are based on financial need. Information obtained from your FAFSA determines your eligibility for the Federal Perkins Loan.

The Perkins Promissory Note is a contract with your lender and is mandatory when borrowing from a Federal Perkins Loan.

Repayment begins nine months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half time (six credit hours). The minimum payment is $120 quarterly for a maximum of 10 years. The Perkins Loan is subsidized, which means all interest that accrues on a Perkins Loan while the borrower is in deferment is paid by the government.


Frequently Asked Questions to the New Signing of the Promissory Note Process

I don’t understand why the process is changing.  Can you explain this to me?

As was first announced by the Department of Education Federal Student Aid (Department) last fall, the login process for various Department of Education websites will be changing.  These changes include the elimination of the FAFSA PIN.  Due to this change, we will no longer be able to access the Student Authentication Network (STAN) to authenticate students that are electronically signing their Promissory Notes.  Because we are required to validate the student’s identity, this means that we must use a third-party service to complete the validation process.


What if the third-party service cannot validate the student’s identity?

If the third-party service cannot validate the student’s identity, the student will need to print, complete, and sign the Promissory Note package and return the package to your school.


How many attempts will the student’s be given for the validation process?

After the third failed attempt the student will not be able to submit their information for authentication.  They will be directed to the failed authentication process which includes the completion of the entrance counseling online and printing the promissory note for signature.


Is the third-party validation service secure?

We have examined and thoroughly tested multiple third-party services that can validate the student’s identity and have selected LexisNexis® as our third-party provider.  LexisNexis is a leading global provider of information solutions.


What does the student need to do to complete the entrance counseling and promissory note process?

There are four steps that the student must complete for the entrance counseling and promissory note process.

Step 1: Read and understand the Student Loan Entrance Counseling section.  This will provide students with important information about the Federal Perkins Loan Program.

Step 2: Read and understand the Federal Perkins Loan Program Statement of Rights and Responsibilities along with the Addendum.

Step 3: Complete the Reference Information sheet.  Students will be required to provide their information along with information for next of kin and two references.

Step 4: Read, understand, and sign the Promissory Note.


Can the student complete the entrance counseling online even if they don’t pass authentication?

If a student does not pass the new authentication process for a Perkins loan, they will still be able to complete the entrance counseling process electronically.  This means that when the student submits their information for authentication and the authentication fails, they will be directed to the Entrance Counseling portion of the process online, which includes the rights and responsibilities and reference form.  However, when they get to the promissory note portion of the process, they will be prompted to print and sign the paper promissory note document.


What happens if a student tries to authenticate before the award file is delivered to Heartland ECSI by the school?

Upon receipt of your school’s award file, Heartland ECSI will create the Promissory Note packages for the students.  If the student should enter the system to try to authenticate before the award file is loaded, they will receive an error stating that a Promissory Note does not exist yet. The first step of the authentication process is to confirm that a Promissory Note package exists for the student.  If none exists, it will not let them proceed to the authentication process.


Would nicknames or shortened first names cause them not to be able to authentication (ie. William vs. Bill)

The data source that is being used to authenticate the student recognizes sir names and variations of sir names.  For example, if the student’s sir name is William and they enter a first name of Bill, the data source will recognize that Bill is a variation for William and they will be authenticated as long as the last name, SSN, and date of births match as well.  On the other hand, if the student’s name is Robert and they enter a first name of Bill, the data source will not recognize Bill and the student will not be authenticated.  The variations of sire names must be common variations.


When the student fails authentication and needs to print the promissory note, will the note be pre-populated with the student information?

No.  Heartland ECSI deems this as a security risk because we were unable to authenticate their identity.


If a student fails authentication and completes the entrance counseling portion of the process electronically, can they come back in the system at a later time to print the promissory note without reviewing the entrance counseling portion of the process again?

Yes.  Heartland ECSI will provide a link to print the promissory note on the initial page after they have entered their SSN, Last Name, First Name, and Date of Birth.