Nairobi — The Ministry of Education has extended the deadline for applications for scholarships and loans for students joining universities this year.
In a statement, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that the deadline had been extended by a month from September 7th to October 7th to ensure all eligible students are not locked out.
“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 said.
As of September 5, only 153,632 had successfully applied for the loans and scholarships which translated to 60 percent of the total applicants placed in universities and tvets placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service.
The ministry also waived the requirements of a National Identity Card for students who have not attained the age of 18 years.
Over 2,000 students were at risk of losing the opportunity to obtain loans and scholarships since an ID is a primary requirement for contractual obligation.
“The Universities Fund and Higher Education Loans Board have been directed to put in place measures to commence immediate and speedy processing of scholarships and bursaries for all students who have already applied,” said Machogu.
Higher Learning Institutions have been directed to provide enough lead time for first-year students to report to their institutions to ensure none is locked out of joining campus.
“Where universities have already commenced 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,” Machogu noted.
Lawmakers had raised concerns that the students would be turned away from joining universities and TVETs since the process of categorization and disbursement of scholarships and loans had not been completed.
MPs had demanded the government to suspend the new university funding formula at least for students joining the institutions in September citing lack of awareness and public participation.
The funding model only applies to KCSE 2022 candidates who will have to make their applications on the Higher Education Financing (HEF) portal; www.hef.co.ke.
Students will be awarded scholarships, loans and bursaries based after a Means Testing Instrument (MTI) methodology that intends to determine their level of need.
In the new model, students have been categorised into four groups based on their level of financial need. These are vulnerable, very needy, needy and less needy students.
According to the plan, vulnerable students will get 82 percent of government scholarships and 18 percent loan from the Higher Education Loans Board.
For the very needy students, government scholarships will account for 70 percent as Helb caters for 30 percent.
Needy students will get a government scholarship of 53 percent and HELB loan 40 of percent. Households will have to contribute seven percent.
The less needy students will get a government scholarship of 38 percent, Helb 55 percent while their households contribute seven percent.