Things you should know about Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans

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A lot of people choose not to pursue higher education, as it costs money they do not have. But what if we told you that you could easily get a loan for your studies? If you are not new to the Kenyan education news, then you should know about HELB. If you have no clue what it is, then let us tell you a little bit more about the things you should know about it and how it can make your life a little bit easier.

What is HELB and what does it offer?

HELB stands for Higher Education Loans Board. This organisation provides prospective students and graduates with loans, scholarships and bursaries for their education in Kenya. It allows people to get the education they have always wanted even if they do not have the money for it. Every Kenyan citizen can apply for a HELB loan.

HELB’s primary focus is providing undergraduates and postgraduates with loans for their schooling. However, the company also offers bursaries and scholarships. Continue reading to find out all about it. You can get even more information on HELB loans, as well as other education news from Tuko.

HELB products

As we have mentioned before, HELB offers loans, bursaries and scholarships. Let’s talk about loans first. There are loans for diploma students, undergraduate students and postgraduate students.

  1. Diploma student loans are for those who want to pursue diploma courses in the institutions recognised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
  2. Undergraduate student loans come in two types: loans for Direct Entry students and Continuing Education students.
  • The first type is for fresh high school graduates who want to study at a university. Loans can be from KSh 37,000 to 60,000 per year at 4% interest.
  • The second type is for employed students that want to obtain a degree. Loans can be from KSh 50,000 to 100,000 per year at 12% interest with a KSh 2,000 processing fee.
  1. Postgraduate student loans are for students that want to pursue a Master’s degree or a PhD. The maximum amount is KSh 200,000 per year at 12% interest with a KSh 2,000 processing fee.

There are two types of HELB bursaries:

  • Undergraduate bursaries are for undergrads who need financial support for their government-sponsored programmes.
  • Technical, Vocational, Education and Training Bursaries are for undergrads who need financial support for their Diploma courses at the TVET-recognized institutions.

HELB also awards partial scholarships to postgrads pursuing Master’s degrees and PhDs based on their academic merit. All can apply for the scholarship, but the fee for submitting the application is KSh 3,000.

HELB partnership programmes

Apart from what we have mentioned before, HELB also has several partnerships programmes. Here they are:

  • Afya Elimu Fund, which is a partnership with the USAid-funded HRH. This loan is meant for medical students that take Certificate or Diploma courses at recognised educational institutions.
  • HELB Universities Partnership, where HELB partners up with Kenyan universities in order to provide students in need of loans with the best experience.
  • Training Revolving Fund, which is a partnership with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. These types of loans are meant for civil servants who want to get a Master’s degree or a PhD. Loans can be from KSh 30,000 to 500,000 per year at 4% interest.
  • Visa Oshwal Scholarship, which is an annual scholarship programme awarded to 20 DE students every year. It covers all tuition fees (up to KSh 100,00 per year) for undergraduate programmes.

That is all we can tell you about HELB products and partnerships. For more information on this, as well as on the application process and required documents, head to Good luck!

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