A new proposed bill allows tertiary institutions students joining before attaining the age of 18 years to qualify for Helb loans under proposed changes to the law that seeks to remove the age hurdle that restricts learners from the funds.
This happened after the Higher Education Loans (Amendment) 2021 proposed that students who are yet to attain 18 years of age will be allowed to list their parents and guardians as co-signatories as they apply for the loans.
As we speak, all applicants seeking Helb loans must have attained 18 years of age to be eligible, a requirement that has locked out many below this legal age and exposed many to funding challenges that in turn distracted their studies.
“This will ensure that university students who have not attained the age of eighteen years and who do not yet have nation identification cards, are allowed access to the higher education loans,” the memorandum of the Bill says.
Government-sponsored students are given at least total sum of Sh70,000 that is paid directly to their schools and they are also expected to meet the other expenses using this loan they get from the board.
One can access Helb loans whether admitted to public or private universities as well as those admitted to technical and vocational institutions.
Lack of national ID by students has been on of the greatest challenges faced by both guardians, parents and students forced to seek other sources of funds.
This hitch has forced many parents and guardians to pay fees out of their pockets.
A total of 128,073 students were placed in universities while 193,994 applied for vocational and technical studies but most of them are yet to apply for Helb for lack of IDs.
The government of Kenya distributes funds according to the number of students and the cost of courses taken at the universities by consecutive students.
Ideally the government should at least cover 80% of the students costs as the student covers the rest 20%
Other requirements include
- Copies of the parents’ National ID Cards/death certificate where the parent is deceased
- Copies of both guarantors’ National ID Card
- A copy of the applicant’s admission letter and KCSE result slip/certificate
- A copy of the applicant’s Bank ATM/Bank card (for Government sponsored students only)
- A copy of the applicant’s Smart Card from the institution
- One recent colored passport size photograph of the applicant.