65,000 students apply for schorlarships, loans, Universities Fund boss says

University Fund CEO Geoffrey Monari. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Some 65,000 students out of the 140,107 placed in universities this year have applied for scholarships and loans under the new funding model.

University Funding CEO Geoffrey Monari said they have been receiving 8,000 applications each day. The deadline for application is September 7.

"We want Kenyans to learn to respect deadlines, and with 16 days remaining we are confident we will capture all those who need financial support," he told the Standard on Wednesday.

The new funding model was unveiled by President William Ruto in May and will fund students depending on their level of need as assessed by the Higher Education Loans Board.

The model takes effect this September when the 2022 KCSE class will join universities for the first year and phases the older funding model that has been in use for 33 years.

Under the model, students joining public universities will not get automatic government-funding like in the previous model.

Instead, they will have to apply for a government scholarship, a loan or both to subsidise their tuition fees.

However, this will be on a voluntary basis. A student who does not apply for either or both of the government funding will be considered a private sponsored student and universities will expect them to pay the full fees amount.

"We cannot assume that all students need government financial support to cover tuition fees, we will make sure we have captured all students before closing the application window but we cannot force all students to take financial support extended," Monari said.

However, for those proceeding to private universities, they will only be eligible to apply for loans.

"After the deadline lapses, we will know the breakdown of those who applied for scholarships, loans or those who applied for both," Monari said.