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85,000 applicants seek student loans

By Augustine Oduor | Sep 24th 2016 | 2 min read

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) received about 85,000 loan applications from students in universities and middle level colleges by close of business yesterday.

HELB records show that another 20,000 First Year students have exactly one week to submit their applications.

HELB predicts to have some 100,000 applications —including self-sponsored candidates— this year. "The board continues to call on first time undergraduate applicants who are yet to apply or submit their forms to do so before the September 30 deadline," noted Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera.

Ringera further observed that so far, some Sh1.6 billion has been disbursed to the accounts of 101,938 state-sponsored First Year students in public universities for the academic year that started in August 2016.

Sh143 million tuition money has also been disbursed to their respective universities. The balance of Sh261 million will be paid by September 28.

In addition some 25,539 self-sponsored continuing students, who were allocated loans for this academic year, will receive Sh1.03 billion in January next year.

"The balance of 8,579 government sponsored students in public universities will be paid once their opening dates are advised by the respective Deans," said Ringera.

The details emerged as private universities began admitting the 12,000 government-sponsored students selected by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service.

President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that more than 10,000 students be admitted to private universities under government sponsorship, pushing the number of government-sponsored beneficiaries to about 84,000.

Ringera said the agency has budgeted Sh10.3 billion for all the students including those in Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions.

He said HELB would require some Sh3.1 billion to fund the new students and another Sh6.7 billion for the 136,000 continuing students.

"This year we also hope to loan some 20,000 TIVET students at Sh1.2 billion," he said.

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