Finally, Helb disburses Sh10.5bn student loans after months.
The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has began the payout of Sh10.5 billion to students at Universities and Technical Vocational Training Colleges (Tvets), bringing an end to months of suffering for learners. This financing will benefit 175,000 undergraduates and 70,000 continuing students under the former higher education finance paradigm.
According to Helb Chief Executive Charles Ringera, the loans are being disbursed based on students’ preferred payment options, which include bank accounts or Mpesa wallets. This alleviation is extremely crucial for many students, especially those from economically disadvantaged homes.
Ringera further said that the deadline for first-time learners applying for funding under the new higher education funding model for both loans and scholarships has been extended to October 7, 2023, as authorized by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.
In early September, some university freshmen and Tvet students were still awaiting State money to cover their tuition and living expenses due to financial issues at Helb. The agency had demanded Sh10 billion from the Treasury to process loan applications for university and college students.
Delays in cash allocation and distribution from the Treasury had led to the financial troubles at Helb, combined with an increase in loan defaults by former university students. This delay pushed first-year students to seek alternative means to finance their college expenditures.