Student Loan Bureau Jamaica by C. Holness
After completing high school studies, a large number of graduates have dreams of pursuing a degree or diploma programme at a tertiary institution to broaden their horizons and career opportunities in the future.
Unfortunately, it can cost a sizable sum of money to accomplish this goal, as tuition, books, and other fees can really add up, and not everyone has the means of easily financing this on their own.
The Students' Loan Bureau Jamaica has been responsible for improving the lives of thousands of bright, eager Jamaicans each year since 1970, when they first began providing loans for the pursuit of higher education.
This organization is dedicated to helping Jamaicans who are financially less fortunate attain their educational goals by issuing loans to cover a percentage of their tuition fees, making school a reality for them rather than an unattainable dream.
It is able to continue to provide successive generations of Jamaican students with funding because those who have previously been given loans have paid them back upon completion of their studies, ultimately benefiting new applicants as it ensures that the necessary funds can be offered by the SLB.
In order to qualify for assistance, a student must have already obtained a passing mark in all required pre-requisites for his or her programme of interest and be eligible for entry into it.
When applying for the first year of assistance, the student must present the officer of admission a letter from the tertiary institution of his or her choosing, but this will not be required in subsequent years.
Other documents will be required in order to be given consideration such as ID, passport sized photo, TRN, letters of recommendation, employment letter and pay stubs as evidence of income.
The school one wishes to attend must also be on the SLB's list of approved schools.
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Yes they actually do. Besides loans, the SLB also provides qualified applicants with non-repayable grants known as Grant-in-Aid assistance.
If students prove eligible through the Means Test they must first fill out, they will be automatically approved for these grants.
These funds are intended to act as a supplementary source of funding for school expenses and will be issued directly to the student's tertiary institution in the form of two payments spread out over two semesters.
Approximately 99 percent of students who apply to the SLB for assistance will get approved.
The reasons why someone's application may get rejected varies, but sometimes it is due to not being completely honest in the application process.
It is therefore highly encouraged for all applicants to be entirely forthcoming when they apply. Dishonesty means that the applicant is disqualified from re-applying for a two-year period.
Applicants must also have at least two guarantors, those being individuals who are demonstrably able and willing to repay the loan in the event that the borrower cannot, without the proper financial backing of suitable guarantors, a prospective borrower may also risk being denied funding.
Yes, it is possible to appeal when a student has been turned down for a loan in cases where circumstances such as dealing with a serious illness or injury, family tragedy etc. was responsible for the situation which lead the applicant to be considered ineligible by the SLB.
He or she needs to provide a letter of appeal explaining these circumstances, and will likely need accompanying documentation as proof, along with a standard appeal form.
These will then be reviewed by a panel selected by the SLB for this purpose.
This depends on the length of the course the student is enrolled in. Those who are taking a 3 or 4 year programme will be given up to 15 years from when they commence studies to repay the loan, and those in a 5-year programme have up to 20 years.
Early repayment is permitted without penalty and is always welcome by the SLB. Interest is added onto the amount borrowed at a variable rate which is currently 9 percent, but this is subject to change at any time.
Students have a wide choice of ways in which they can make their payments; they can pay through their bank, directly to the SLB, using post-dated cheques, salary deductions, or via other approved payment agencies, for example, Bill Express.
Making timely payments benefits everyone; the SLB, the borrowers, and those who wish to apply in the near future.
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