The Ministry of Education has extended the universities and TVETs loan and scholarship application period to October 7.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu announced the extension of the application deadline, which was originally set to lapse on September 7, by an additional month.
According to the CS, a total of 156,532 students had applied for both Universities Fund scholarships and Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans as of September 5.
This translates to 60 per cent of students placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) based on the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (KCSE).
“This means that 40 per cent of the potential total applicants of 265,000 students have yet to apply for the scholarships and loans,” the CS said on Wednesday, September 6.
To ensure all eligible students have adequate time to apply, and to guarantee that none of them is left behind, the CS said that they have an additional month to apply.
At the same time, the Universities Fund and HELB 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.
The agencies will then ensure processing and disbursement exercise of scholarships and loans is conducted on a continuing basis.
“I wish to assure the country that no student will miss joining university because of failure to pay fees. Out of the 2022 KCSE graduates placed by KUCCPS, students categorised as vulnerable and extremely needy will get full Government funding through scholarships and loans,” said the CS.
The CS also reiterated that the Ministry has waived the requirement of a national identity card for students who have not attained the age of 18 years to allow them to apply for loans, as per the Cabinet directive of August 29.
He also said the Ministry has directed HELB to review its portal to ensure all the 2,000 students yet to attain the age of 18 apply for HELB loans.
On the other hand, Machogu directed universities 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,” he directed.
The Universities Fund and HELB are also expected to station their staff at all Huduma Centres countrywide to assist students in need of assistance regarding the application process for scholarships and loans.
Categorization for students will be realised through a reliable scientific method, Means Testing Instrument (MTI), used to determine the student's level of financial need, to ensure each of them is supported adequately.
“I urge students to ensure they stick to the set timelines to allow for speedy processing of scholarships and bursaries since most universities are preparing to admit First Year students in September,” said the CS.