How to apply for a gov't scholarship under new University funding model

How to apply for a gov't scholarship under new University funding model

The new funding model for higher education has remained to be a mind-bending proposal for a large section of University and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions entrants.

In the model announced by President William Ruto in May 2023, the government seeks to channel higher education funds directly to individual students based on carefully curated criteria.

On July 31, 2023, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu launched the Higher Education Financing (HEF) Portal, through which applications for scholarships, loans and bursaries will be made individually soon after receiving admission letters.

However, questions have been floated revolving around how one can apply for the government scholarship and who will be its beneficiaries, prompting a debunk of the conundrum.

According to the University Fund Kenya, one must be Kenyan and a 2022 KCSE examination candidate to be eligible for the scholarship.

He or she must have also been placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to pursue an undergraduate, diploma, craft certificate, or artisan course at one of Kenya’s accredited public universities or TVET colleges.

The scholarship will be open to students who sat their KCSE examination from 2022 onwards.

Once confirmed to have met the requirements, one will be needed to visit https://www.hef.co.ke/ for application with a checklist meeting the requirements hereunder;

A valid email address, a valid phone number registered to the applicant's name, KCPE and KCSE index numbers and year of examination, College/University admission letter and a copy of the sponsorship letter for those sponsored in secondary school.

Others are the applicant's parent/guardian's registered numbers, the applicant's ID number, death certificate if parents are deceased, a passport photo and a birth certificate. 

Also, those who will be seeking loans will be needed to have the ID numbers and telephone numbers for two guarantors.

On the platform, one will first register/log in, fill out their profile and upload their documents, tick the box to apply for a scholarship or a loan and submit the application.

The applicant will then wait for the award within 30 days and then wait for an SMS payment notification.

It is also worth noting that students in private universities are not eligible for the government scholarship fund, but can apply for loans through HELB. 

Continuing students will not be affected by the funding model and will continue to receive their funding based on the previous funding model.

The level of funding for each student will depend on the monthly household income and the financial aid has been classified into four categories, the vulnerable, extremely needy, needy and less needy.

Under the model, those students falling under the vulnerable and extremely needy band will qualify for 100%  government funding for their studies with the money coming as scholarships and loans, and those deemed to be needy and less needy will get 93% government funding, with the students bearing 7% of the tuition costs.

Out of the 2022 KCSE cohort, over 45,000 university students and 42,000 TVET students categorised as vulnerable and extremely needy, will be fully funded with Government Scholarships and Loans.

The deadline for applications had earlier been set for August 31, but has since been pushed to October 7. 

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