University students in Kenya will now be required to apply for loans and scholarships on an annual basis, as announced by University Funds CEO Geoffrey Monari. This decision, aimed at enhancing eligibility assessments and responsible budget planning, was unveiled during a meeting with the National Assembly Education Committee.
Geoffrey Monari emphasized the significance of this new approach in ensuring accurate records of eligible students and their respective courses. He elaborated that the annual application process would address scenarios where students may have encountered changes in their circumstances or even tragically passed away during the course of their studies. By requiring students to reapply every year, the higher education institutions can effectively manage their scholarship and loan programs.
“Every student will be expected to submit an application annually. This is crucial as it allows us to maintain up-to-date records of students’ enrollment and any changes in their status. It’s especially vital to know if any students have altered their courses or faced significant life events,” Monari articulated.
Furthermore, the revised application process accommodates students who may not yet possess a National Identity Card. Such students will be required to apply using their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) index number and birth certificate.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu underscored the contractual nature of the loan provision, emphasizing that it is an agreement between the student and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). However, Machogu noted that due to legal constraints related to contracts with minors, loans for individuals without Identity Cards would not be disbursed until the necessary identification documents are provided.
Machogu elaborated on the execution of the scholarship and loan process under the New Funding Model. Once a student is categorized under this model, the scholarship will be granted and subsequently transmitted to the respective university or college. Meanwhile, the HELB Loan will remain on hold until the student submits their National Identity Card, enabling the financing process to proceed.
Universities and colleges across the country have been duly informed about these new arrangements. It is anticipated that institutions will align their admissions and financial aid processes with the updated regulations, thereby ensuring a streamlined and effective implementation.
HELB CEO Charles Ringera disclosed that next week, students will receive notifications detailing their specific categorization. This categorization will determine the applicable fees, thereby offering students clarity about their financial responsibilities and expectations.
The introduction of the annual application requirement represents a deliberate effort to enhance transparency, responsiveness, and accuracy within the university funding landscape. As the educational landscape evolves, these regulatory adjustments reflect a commitment to equitable access to higher education and financial support for eligible students.