Loans Board Advises On Student Loan Applications

  Teachers are advised to help guide students who are filling out applications for loans. Chief executive officer of the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB), Bobby Maharaj, yesterday requested
16 Mar 2017 11:00
Loans Board Advises On  Student Loan Applications
119th Fiji Principals Association Conference Education Minister’s Excellence Award recipients, (from left) Xavier College Principal B. Joseph , Valebasoga Secondary School Principal Ahmed Tauwab, Saint Joseph Secondary Principal Jacqueline Low, Balata High School Principal Muni Kumar, Education Minister Mahendra Reddy, Rakiraki Public High School Principal Ashwinesh Sharma, Yat Sen Secondary School Principal Miriama Naicegucegu, Jai Narayan College Principal (2016) Chandra Pillay and Rakiraki Public High School Principal Vikashni Sharma (2016) with their awards at in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar.


Teachers are advised to help guide students who are filling out applications for loans.

Chief executive officer of the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB), Bobby Maharaj, yesterday requested teachers to not only tell students to fill out their forms, but to also guide them in ensuring they had all the satisfactory requirements.

“We have officers in all divisions. If you need one of the staff to come and assist you, then we will be more than happy to send them over,” he told all those at the Principals’ Association Conference at Studio 6 yesterday.

He also encouraged for students to apply online through their online portal that was opened last year.

“The beauty of the online application portal is that the students will not have to see us in our office, but they can scan and upload the documents.

“The application gets assessed online. Once the system clicks the approve box, then the offer letter is printed which the student will have it signed by a Justice of Peace,” he said.

He advised principals to inform their students to look for two guarantors who are earning more than $10,000.

“The National Toppers Scholarship requirement is very stringent where the students have to maintain a GPA of 3.0 and above or the scholarship is suspended and if they do not improve, they are terminated, then the guarantors will be coming with a cheque to TSLB,” he said.

“There is a misconception that all lending by TSLB is interest-free. Only if the combined family income of an individual is less than $25,000 then it is considered interest free.

“If the income is $25000 to $50,000 then a necessary interest is applicable, likewise if the income is from $50,000 to $100,000.”

The applications for the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) will open at the same time as other scholarships except that the National Toppers Scholarship Scheme will have a precise opening and closing date and any late applications received will be filed in a separate file for late applications.

Mr Maharaj said the applications for TELS was open throughout the year.

He said that students could borrow a maximum of $250 for rent per month, a maximum of $50 for food and maximum of $50 for bus fare.

He encouraged students to be responsible when borrowing money for allowances as their debt may increase and would likely graduate with a huge debt.

“Keep encouraging them not to apply if they do not need it. Do not apply for food if you can afford it,” he said.

In addressing issues brought to light about students under TELS, leaving the country, he said: “We are now doing it strictly.”

He said once students sign a contract with TSLB, their names were listed with the Fiji Immigration Controversial List.

“Now as soon as the student applies, the Board receives their names and when they get to the airport, they will be told to go back to TSLB to get a clearance letter.

Mr Maharaj said there were cases where students left the country and waved to them on television while at the Vancouver 7s.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce



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