What you need to know:
- Requirements. To apply for the loan, one must have a copy of admission letter from tertiary institutions, national ID, copies of academic certificates or result slips and transcripts, a birth certificate and a recent passport photo.
- One must also possess proof of payment of the prescribed loan processing fees amounting to Shs53,000, a copy of a financial card, a sketch map of applicant’s current address/residence, a sketch map of applicant’s home of origin if different from current address and a fully filled loan application form submitted online.
The government has asked eligible students to apply for study loans for the academic year 2021/2022 as universities and other tertiary institutions across the country prepare to reopen next month.
The government is slated to give study loans to 1,600 needy students who want to pursue degree and diploma programmes.
Addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala yesterday, the executive director of Higher Education Students Financing Board (HESFB), Mr Michael Wanyama, said prospective beneficiaries have up to November 30 to apply for the loans.
“The board with funding from the government has set aside Shs6b to support 1,500 new cohorts of student loan beneficiaries and at least 100 continuing students in their final year of study,” Mr Wanyama said.
He added: “I, therefore, announce to all prospective applicants that the board is now open for application for the eighth cohort of the study loans under the student’s loan scheme from eligible Ugandans students who have been admitted under the listed programmes in the public universities, private chartered universities and listed other tertiary institutions.”
The loans cover tuition, functional, and any other fees required by the learning institutions. They also cover aids and appliances for people with disabilities. Online applications officially kicked off yesterday with suitable candidates expected to demonstrate a financial need.
They must also be Ugandan citizens. One must also be admitted to or pursuing any of the HESFB’s approved Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes or those approved under affirmative action.
Whereas one is required to present an admission letter from the tertiary institutions as one of the requirements, some universities have not yet concluded admission students who sat for the 2020 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education exams.
Mr Wanyama, however, said all universities are expected to have finalised their admission for the 2021/2022 academic year by November.
He added that the board is hopeful that no students will be left behind.
Since 2014, the board has awarded loans to 11,187 beneficiaries (9,632 undergraduate degrees and 1,555 undergraduate diplomas) to study 130 degree programmes and 76 diploma courses.
At least 3,000 loan beneficiaries have completed their studies and are slated to start servicing their loans.
Mr Wanyama said Shs30b is due for recovery from the beneficiaries. Repayment for the first batch of students, who received the loans in 2014, reportedly started in 2018.
The government claims to have recouped Shs800m — with 25 students having fully cleared their dues — leaving a deficit of Shs2.2b.
The board gives each student a grace period of one year after graduating to start paying back the loan and double the years of his or her study.
If a student studied for five years, he has 11 years to repay the loan. As one of the recovery plans, the government has written to all employers to start deducting salaries of employees who studied on the loan scheme.