The University of Ghana’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has announced the opening of applications for the student loan for 2020/2021 academic year, directing prospective students to visit the website of the Student Loan Trust Fund on www.sltf.gov.gh.
In a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer Aikins Opoku, the SRC asked the applicants to take note that “no guarantor is required” and all that a student needs is his or her Ghana Card and E-Zwich Card to apply for the loan.
The statement added that “application is strictly online” and “when selecting the institution in the account creation process, applicants should either select University of Ghana or UG DI Legon and not City Campus.”
The SRC said students without the Ghana Card could visit the Student Loan Trust Fund office at the union building for redress, and indicated that students could also ask for further enquiries through 0202097481/05051402578/03039660.
Student Loan Promise
The granting of loans to students without the use of guarantors was a manifesto promise of President Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration when they were seeking for a second term in office last year.
The policy, according to the NPP, is intended to eliminate the “huge obstacle to the financing of tertiary education,” and will change the phase of tertiary education.
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, announced in August 2020 in Cape Coast during the manifesto launch of the NPP that, the government under President Akufo-Addo “has a policy initiative that will give all tertiary students, except teacher and nursing trainees, who will be on allowances, the option to obtain a student loan without the requirement of a guarantor.”
“The current scheme asks for guarantors and a lot of people are not willing to put their pensions on the line, and so many students are unable to access,” he noted.
“We want to make it guarantor free and all a student will need is his or her national ID card to be able to access a loan, and once you complete your tertiary education, repayment will be deferred for one year after your national service,” he added.
The party said it would also establish a National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS) to offer soft loans to young people to rent affordable apartments after school.
The Vice President said that the government intended to set up a GH¢100 million national rental assistance scheme to offer loans to people, especially the youth, to pay for their rent advance.
This, he said, would be done in collaboration with the private sector to crowd in more money in order to relieve people of the burdening of rent advance.
“It is clear that there are a lot of youth who when they finish school just trying to rent accommodation is a big problem. There is a large demand for rent allowance up to two years, but someone who has just finished school and is starting a job does not have the savings to pay the huge demands of landlords,” said the Vice President.
“The landlords on the other hand, have got used to asking for two years and insist on it, saying they do not know if the tenant will run away and therefore want to collect it up front,” he added.
By Ernest Kofi Adu