Admissions for 2016/2017 academic year are out. Students are expected to pay their fees before the start of the academic year and The Students Loan Trust Fund is one source of funding for most students. The Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) gives loans to Ghana tertiary students who are pursuing accredited programmes in accredited tertiary institutions. The institutions include both public and private universities, colleges of education and polytechnics. These students must have gained admission to pursue undergraduate programmes only.
For a student to benefit from this trust fund, certain requirements must be met which includes registration at any SSNIT office for a social security number, have a personal e-mail address, provide one guarantor and register for an e-zwich card. The amount given to the students ranges between GH¢250 – GH¢1050 and the exact amount is determined by SLTF based on your needs by assessing or analyzing the information you provided on the form.
The SLTF determines the amount to be given and divides the amount into two. Qualified students will then receive 50% each semester. The student will take the loan yearly for the period that he/she will be in school. The total amount will attract interest of not more than 12% which the student will have to pay after completion of school and national service, with an additional year or two as grace period. Depending on how many loans a student collects, he is given between 2 to 10 years to repay. Note that the total loan received in an academic year is considered as one loan taken.
Views from some students who had applied previously indicated that the money was enough to pay the fees. However, they suggested the amount be increased since the fees expected to be paid are much higher than the loan granted. Others also have expressed satisfaction at how the SLTF has helped them in times of difficulty to be able to pay their fees and buy devices or stationery to help them with school work.
One student also complained about how stressful the entire registration process is.
According to Alex Hackman an SLTF official in GIJ, it takes two weeks for the form to be processed. The money will then be given to the students when the academic year begins. He added that the number of students who apply varies every year but as at now there are about 70,000 applicants on their portfolio.
SLTF applications for the 2015/2016 academic year close on July 31, 2016. Anyone seeking more information on the SLTF can visit their website, www.sltf.gov.gh .
By: BRIDGET AMEWUDO (DIPLOMA 1)
EDNA BAAKO (L300)