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Interest-free loan for students unable to enter state universities

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The Treasury has approved the payment of the interest of the loans obtained by 6,847 students under a student loan scheme this year to pursue degree programmes at private higher educational institutions, for a period of 4 to 5 years.

With the aim of increasing the number of students engaged in higher education, the Ministry of Education has taken this step in accordance with a Cabinet paper submitted on August 31 this year. Accordingly, the students will be provided opportunities to pursue a government-recognized degree from higher educational institutions in the private sector in Sri Lanka.

The period of 4 or 5 years is the course period as well as the grace period, and this loan facility is provided so that the students can settle the entire interest amount and the loan amount under the floating interest rate during the next 7 or 8 years that comes after the grace period.

The government has also decided to give the opportunity to those students who have expressed their willingness to follow their studies under this loan scheme by paying the course fee of Rs.800,000 by themselves on a semi-annual basis.

These facilities will be provided for those students who have passed the A/L examination but unable to get into state universities. Only about 40,000 students enter state universities each year from among 200,000 students who passed the examination. This student loan scheme was introduced with the objective of reducing the high costs that parents have to bear when the students pursue degree courses from higher educational institutions in the private sector.

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