Eighty thousand students in 152 tertiary institutions in the country have so far benefited from the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) since its inception in 2005, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the fund, Mrs Sheila Naah-Boamah, has indicated.
The institutions include both public and private universities, colleges of education and polytechnics.
Mrs Naah-Boamah made this known at the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Fund in yesterday.
Speaking on the theme, “Transforming tertiary education financing in Ghana,” the chief executive said as part of measures to ensure the early release of the funds to beneficiaries, students could now access the funds within a period of two weeks after application.
That, she explained, would help the applicants, who were students, to concentrate on their studies rather than spending time chasing after the money and pondering over when it would be released to them.
She added that the fund had now established a flexible term limit for applicants to repay their loans and intimated that “beneficiaries have two years’ grace period to pay back the loan after graduation”.
According to her, prospective beneficiaries would no more have to look for individual guarantors to fill their application forms, since “district assemblies and institutionalised religious bodies can now endorse the forms of applicants in their respective areas”.
Mrs Naah-Boamah, however, urged beneficiaries who had lapsed in their payment schedules to try and repay the loan for the sustenance of the fund.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, commended the management and the board of the SLTF for supporting needy students to further their education.
According to her, the ministry was assessing a request by students for an increase in the disbursement of the fund.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman also revealed that her outfit was looking into the possibility of making the fund accessible to fresh students in tertiary institutions.
She advised students to make judicious use of the money given them.