SLB extends loan application period
WITH THE Government having sourced additional funds to finance tertiary education for 2014-15, students are being advised to immediately visit the offices of the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) to apply for loan funds.
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites said the SLB has extended its loan application period.
"Students who may have already matriculated but have not made the satisfactory arrangements may go to the Bureau and they will be interviewed and considered for whatever loan they require," Thwaites said.
He was addressing a scholarships and grants awards luncheon at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday.
Through the additional funds, the Bureau now has adequate funds to meet the demands of the 14,648 applicants at a projected cost of $4.6 billion.
"Earlier, it was announced that there was a shortfall of almost $1 billion at the SLB for financing tertiary education for needy students in this academic year. I am pleased to tell you that the necessary funds have been sourced," he said.
The Education Minister said the SLB has approved applications totalling $150 million in non-guaranteed loan.
He also informed that there is now a window for those "who simply can't find a guarantor, but whose dedication to their studies and other indices of reliability for repayment warrant that they be given credit".
Thwaites further noted that the SLB has expanded its Parent Plus salary deduction-based loan by extending the repayment period to 60 months from 36 months. The interest rate is at nine per cent on the reducing balance
He reminded students that "it is absolutely important" that they honour their obligations to repay the loans they have received.
"Some 24 per cent of those who borrow from the Students' Loan Bureau make no arrangements and simply ignore their obligation. That cannot continue, and every means has to be found to ensure that repayments are made. If you can't make a repayment, go in and make an arrangement," he advised.
The scholarships and grants awards luncheon was organised by the Jamaica Teachers' Association Co-operative Credit Union Limited (JTACCUL).
During the ceremony, six teachers were presented with scholarships and grants to finance their final year at various tertiary institutions across the island.
They are Glecia Beckford, who received the Desmond 'DC' Gascoigne Award for Excellence; Lorraine Francis, Maxine Pickersgill, Paula Pindling, and Corysa Salmon who received the JTACCUL scholarship; and Tori-Ann Westcarr, who was the youth awardee.