A section of university students who were waiting for funding from the High Education Loans Board (HELB) faced a setback on Thursday, July 6, when their application status was changed unexpectedly.
The affected students, mostly first-years, expressed their dissatisfaction after their application status was switched from verification to allocation.
HELB issued a statement explaining that they were unable to provide disbursements to all students for the 2022/2023 financial year due to financial difficulties faced by the institution.
The statement regretfully stated that their applications for the current year would not be funded due to budgetary constraints, but encouraged them to apply for the subsequent 2023/2024 application when it is open
HELB official who sought anonymity said first-year students who missed the initial application round would have an opportunity to apply for funding in the 2023/2024 Financial Year.
The official explained that although their applications had been verified, the institution was unable to assist them due to financial limitations.
The official further stated that these students would not need to submit a fresh application once the application process opens but would instead apply as subsequent applicants, and they would be provided with a USSD code to facilitate their mobile applications.
The official clarified that continuing students did not need to worry as their disbursements would be provided on time.
The board prioritized funding for the majority of continuing students since they were already in session and heavily dependent on the loan, ensuring that almost 100 percent of their funding was covered.
The disruption occurred two months before universities adopted a new funding model proposed by President William Ruto’s government.
According to the Ministry of Education, first-year students joining university in September 2023 will be funded through scholarships and loans.
The government funding for students will be categorized into three groups: vulnerable, less vulnerable, and able.
Vulnerable students will receive full funding in the form of scholarships, while less vulnerable students will receive a 53 percent scholarship and 30 percent funding in the form of loans.