Only 58 per cent of students who qualified for university from the 2022 KCSE cohort have sent their applications to the Higher Education Loans Boards (HELB) with a deadline set for Wednesday, September 7.
According to reports, as of Tuesday, September 5, only 152,957 applications had been made from the expected 285,167.
This means that 42 percent of the students placed by the Kenya University of Colleges Central Placement (KUCCPS) to universities had not yet applied for HELB loan.
This comes as universities and colleges admit new students pending the release of funds under the new funding model.
In Kisii County, the family of Geoffrey Isaboke, who secured a place at the University of Nairobi to pursue a course in Medicine, has resorted to friends to raise upkeep money as they wait for the amount the student will be awarded scholarship.
The 18-year-old said his only hope was the HELB loan which he knew would pay part of the required fee.
“I am still stranded and not sure whether I will join on date 25th. I have not cleared, and I also need to book a hostel and pay fees.
Even if I receive the scholarship and the loan, the remaining amount will still be a burden,” said Geoffrey.
The mother, Jackline Maina, said the family is stranded and his son is stressed because of the suspense around his education.
Als, Evans Gathee, who was to join Cooperative University on Tuesday, September 5, is still at home.
The 17-year-old was locked out from applying for HELB loan despite applying for the government scholarship.
“I am at home because there is no money, my birthday is in March and I cannot apply for an Identification Card which is required to qualify for HELB loan,” Evans told Citizen TV.
Pressure on HELB
Nyeri Town lawmaker, Duncan Maina called on HELB to come up with a plan to accommodate the underage students.
Maina said the ID requirement disadvantages young people who have not attained the legal age of 18 years.
“Therefore, the questions of these requirements in terms of a bank account and registration of a telephone number that must be done using an ID needs to be looked at a fresh, “said Maina.
On August 25, the Ministry of Education directed all public universities, colleges and TVETS to admit first year students and trainees from the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) cohort pending the processing of their funding applications.
“Universities and colleges shall admit all students from the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education cohort as placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service, pending the processing of their applications for funding,” the circular reads.
The ministry noted that students and trainees who have already acquired placement to various colleges and universities are currently in the process of applying for funding through the newly unveiled funding model.