The deadline for applications for scholarships and loans for students planning to join universities and technical colleges this academic year has been extended by one month.
- Some MPs had called for the suspension of the new university funding formula for students joining universities and colleges in September amid confusion.
The Ministry of Education has extended the deadline for applications for scholarships and loans for students planning to join universities and technical colleges this academic year.
In a statement released to newsrooms by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, the ministry extended the deadline by one month from September 7, 2023 to October 7, 2023.
Machogu says the move seeks to ensure all eligible students have ample time to complete their loan applications to avoid missing out of financial support for their higher education.
“The application period for loans and scholarships that was initially scheduled to lapse on September 7, 2023, has now been extended to October 7, 2023,” Machogu emphasized.
By September 5, 2023, only 153,632 students had successfully applied for loans and scholarships, representing 60 per cent of total applicants placed in universities and technical colleges by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
The Ministry of Education has also waived the requirement of a National Identity Card (ID) for students who are yet to attain the age of 18 to be able to access university loans.
According to the CS, more than 2,000 students who lacked ID cards, which is a primary requirement for contractual obligations, risked losing chances for loans and scholarships.
The CS also ordered the Universities Fund and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to expedite the processing of scholarships and bursaries for students who already applied.
He further directed higher learning institutions to give first-year students adequate time to report to their respective campuses to ensure none misses their slot due to loan processing delays.
“Where universities have already commenced the admission of First Years, measures must be in place to ensure students are not turned away for failure to pay school fees as the Government processes their funds applications,” stated Machogu.
MPs recently raised concerns that thousands of university and technical colleges students risked losing out due to incomplete categorization and payout of scholarships and loans.
Some MPs demanded suspension of the new university funding model, especially for those reporting in September, citing a lack of awareness and public participation in the process.
The new government funding model applies exclusively to KCSE 2022 candidates, who are required to submit their applications through the Higher Education Financing (HEF) portal.
Students will be allocated scholarships, loans, and bursaries based on the Means Testing Instrument (MTI) methodology, which aims to comprehensively assess their financial need.
Under the new funding model, students have been categorized into four groups based on their level of financial need - vulnerable, very needy, needy, and less needy.
A vulnerable student is expected to receive 82 per cent of their financial needs from a government scholarship and the remaining 18 per cent in loans from HELB.
Very needy students will get a 70 per cent government scholarship and 30 per cent HELB loan, while needy students will get a 53 per cent government scholarship, a 40 per cent HELB loan and a 7 per cent contribution from their households.
Less needy students will be awarded a 38 per cent government scholarship, a 55 per cent HELB loan, with the remaining 7 per cent set to be contributed by their households.