The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has clarified its approach to disbursing funds to more than 2,000 students who have applied for financial assistance without National Identity cards (IDs).
According to a statement from Chief Executive Charles Ringera, the agency will hold onto the funds until the students obtain valid IDs. During the loan application process, HELB mandates the submission of both the student’s and parents’ ID numbers.
Ringera pointed out that the organization’s hands are tied, as it is prohibited by law from granting loans to individuals under 18 years of age.
“An ID is important for identifying the identity of the student, especially when they are repaying the loan,” he stated.
The loans board provides loans to students who gain admission to both public and private universities and those enrolled in technical and vocational institutions.
Issues tied to National Identity cards have previously placed students, parents, and guardians in vulnerable situations, compelling them to explore alternative sources of funding.
The CEO encouraged students to proceed with their funding applications, assuring them of the availability of sufficient resources to address their needs.
Furthermore, Ringera expressed confidence in the timing of the new funding model’s implementation, underscoring its commitment to ensuring every student has the necessary resources to pursue their education.
Ringera also advised students to consider changing their course of study or transferring to a different institution. He assured them that the allocated funds would remain accessible, a departure from the previous framework.
The CEO projected that by 2028, the board would have expended Ksh210 billion (Ksh145 billion for loans and Ksh75 billion for scholarships) to support students under the new model.
Approximately 285,698 students are anticipated to enroll in higher education institutions come September. The Chief Executive stressed that comprehensive support would be extended to all students, dismissing speculation about any students being left out.
The newly launched funding model classifies students into four categories: the vulnerable, the extremely needy, the needy, and the less needy.