• The funds are meant to support the payment of their tuition fees and comes at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the economic status of the majority of households.
• So far, Ringera says they have received an overwhelming 85000 applications fronted seeking a pie of the study loans.
The Higher Education Loans Board has announced that first-year students admitted to universities this year will get their first disbursement of student loans in October.
Helb CEO Charles Ringera said already 10,000 state-sponsored students have received their first disbursement.
The remaining lot, he said will receive the loans by mid-October.
“The first time applicants will have received their allocation by October that will help them in paying for their first semester,” Ringera told the Star on phone.
The funds are meant to support the payment of their tuition fees and come at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the economic status of the majority of households.
So far, Ringera said they have received an overwhelming 85,000 applications fronted seeking a pie of the study loans.
This means that 60 per cent of those who qualified for university this year have sought financial assistance to pay for their university education.
“Each day we receive an average of 200 applications and we expect the number to be higher than that by the end of the application window,” Ringera said.
However, despite the large number of those seeking study loans, Ringera said Helb is only in a position to fund 75,000 students as their budget currently stands at Sh3.2 billion.
Subsequently, it will mean almost half of the students selected to join university this September under government sponsorships will miss out on student loans.
In the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, 142,540 candidates qualified for university admission but only 128,073 students were placed to pursue degree courses under state sponsorship.
This in effect means that 63,073 students are set to miss out on the study loans, which weighs in on their ability to cater for their studies.
Ringera said the beneficiaries will get about Sh37,000, a downward revision from the previous allocations of Sh45,000.
Ringera says the disparity in those who’ll get the loan and the reduction in the amount awarded has been occasioned by a reduction in budgetary allocation.
“Our budget allocation was cut by Sh1 billion this year, from Sh16.8 billion in the previous year to Sh15.8 billion and this has affected the provision of loans,” Ringera said.
The first-year students reported to various campuses in September.
Kenyatta University is set to admit 6,733 students. Maseno University comes second and will enrol 6,659 under the government sponsorship programme.
JKUAT got (6,529), University of Nairobi (6,407), Mount Kenya University (5,489) and Moi University (5,187). Egerton University will admit 4,039 students.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris