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University students’ Fees shocker

University students’ Fees shocker

Students who have been accepted to colleges and universities will be able to apply for financial aid for their studies through the freshly developed Higher Studies Financing Portal starting on Thursday.

The government-sponsored higher education that students have hitherto gotten without taking their financial condition into account is certainly coming to an end with this. Students now have just one month to submit their finance applications before the start of the academic year at universities and technical and vocational education and training (Tvet) institutions in September.

Tuition will be covered by government loans, bursaries, and scholarships, with a greater focus being placed on the former for those who are weak and extremely poor. Less needy people will get more loans, and needier people will get fewer scholarships.

Additionally, students will submit loan applications to fund their living costs while they are enrolled in classes, much like they did in the past through the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb). All applications for scholarships, loans, and bursaries will now be submitted through the new platform.

Students who don’t qualify for or don’t receive adequate government aid will be required to pay more out of pocket for their education.

Since the presidential decree of May 3, 2023 on the start of the new funding model, the government built and finished the Higher Education Financing Portal to receive applications for scholarships, loans, and bursaries for university and Tvet students. Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that students who require financial aid must appropriately apply through the Higher Education Financing Portal yesterday when announcing the placement results at the Kenya School of Government.

In order to ensure that admission letters are sent out by August 2, 2023, I am instructing vice chancellors and principals. Students would be able to do this between August 3, 2023 and August 27, 2023 at midnight to apply for loans and bursaries, he said.

According to the CS, a Means Testing Instrument (MTI), which he described as reliable and scientific, will be used to determine the extent of students’ financial need.

Nevertheless, Mr. Machogu asserted that this funding system would not affect current students, who would instead continue to get their cash in accordance with the government’s current plan.

Over 45,000 university students and 42,000 Tvet candidates who are eligible for placement in 2022 under the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) fall into the vulnerable and extremely needy category, according to Mr. Machogu, and are therefore eligible for full funding through government loans and bursaries.

Students in need are offered a maximum grant of 82% of the program cost and 18% in the form of a loan. Students with the greatest need will get grants that can cover up to 70% of their tuition costs, with the remaining 30% coming in the form of loans.

As 408,879 students fail to apply for courses, there is a commotion at the MoE.

“Students from low-income homes will have an equal opportunity to pursue higher education and a career in the military thanks to 100% government sponsorship. As a result, Mr. Machogu claims that their family won’t be expected to pay anything toward the cost of the program, and the student will also receive maintenance from the loan.

Students in the needy group would receive a maximum grant of 53% of the program cost and a maximum loan amount of 40%. The percentages will also vary according to how well each individual performed on the MTI.

Shoking fees for college students

The amount of financial aid a student will receive depends on the cost of the program they are accepted into. Universities charge different prices for different courses. Before students submitted placement applications, they were required to reveal the costs by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS). Universities also had to provide a 15% reduction off the total cost of all course offerings.

For instance, a medical degree will cost Sh612,000, Sh461,210, Sh612,000, and Sh539,750 at Kenyatta University (KU), Kisii University, Moi University, and the University of Nairobi (UoN), respectively.

A pharmacy degree costs Sh428,000 at KU whereas Sh418,710 at Kisii University. UoN has put the price as Sh413,950. While the programme at UoN costs Sh521,050, students at Moi University pay Sh612,000.

A bachelor’s in the arts is the least expensive university degree. Kisii University charges Sh122,485, Moi charges Sh153,000, while UoN charges Sh160,653 in annual tuition.

The placement and funding plan was developed in conjunction with Helb, KUCCPS, and The Universities Fund. The CEO of Helb, Charles Ringera, asserted that the new model will promote equity in higher education financing as compared to the previous one, which was founded on equality.

Prior to this change, only Helb would accept student loan applications, and the University Fund would deal with universities. It did this by distributing the capitation payment directly to the institutions using the differentiated unit cost, which is based on the price of a program.

Students who were not admitted to the institutions or courses of their choice reacted poorly when the results were made public.

The placement was purely decided by merit and choice, according to KUCCPS CEO Agnes Mercy Wahome.

“I feel betrayed and confused. What is feasible and what are our options? [A grade of 84 points] was awarded to my son. A father grieved that his son had been placed to the Technical University of Mombasa for the Diploma in Medical Engineering.

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