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Finance Matters: Financial Assistance for Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore

In the previous articles on Finance Matters, we covered the Edusave Account and the Post Secondary Education Account (PSEA) (if you haven’t read, go read it!). In this article, we will be educating you on Financial Assistance for Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore.

Even though tuition fees (school fees) for Singaporeans in Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs) are generally already highly subsidised, some families may still require additional assistance to support their child’s educational journey. Therefore, there are a myriad of financial assistance schemes put in place to provide even more support for Singaporean students studying in Singapore’s publicly-funded PSEIs. The 3 main types are yearly government bursaries, government loan schemes and school-based financial assistance schemes – all aiming to provide every Singaporean student with as much help as possible so they can further their education regardless of their financial circumstances.

Yearly Government Bursaries

To begin off, the most common financial assistance provided to the largest group of students in IHLs would be the yearly government bursaries. It aims to help support the educational expenses for Singaporean students who are currently enrolled in MOE-subsidised courses in publicly-funded PSEIs. The bursary criteria ranges differently for different groups of students which we will list below for your easy reference!

1. ITE Nitec and Higher Nitec Students
Full-time Students

Higher Education Community Bursary:

Gross Monthly Household Income (GHI) ≤$2,750 or Monthly Household Per Capita Income (PCI) ≤ $690: 100% tuition fee subsidy + $1,500

GHI $2,751-$4,000 or PCI $691-$1,000: $1,250

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $600

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $400

Part-time Students

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI ≤ 4,000 or PCI ≤ $1,000 (new income tier from AY2020): $140

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $140

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $140

2. Diploma Students
Full-time Students

Higher Education Community Bursary:

GHI ≤$2,750 or PCI ≤ $690: $2,750

GHI $2,751-$4,000 or PCI $691-$1,000: $2,400

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $1,900

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $850

Part-time Students

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI ≤ 4,000 or PCI ≤ $1,000 (new income tier from AY2020): $800

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $660

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $300

3. Undergraduates (excluding Medicine/Dentistry Students)
Full-time Students

Higher Education Community Bursary:

GHI ≤$2,750 or PCI ≤ $690: $6,200

GHI $2,751-$4,000 or PCI $691-$1,000: $5,000

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $3,200

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $1,350

Part-time Students

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI ≤ 4,000 or PCI ≤ $1,000 (new income tier from AY2020): $2,500

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $1,600

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $700

4. NUS/NTU Medicine and Dentistry Undergraduates
Full-time Students

Higher Education Community Bursary:

GHI ≤ $2,750 or PCI ≤ $690: $18,900 (NUS) & $24,700 (NTU)

GHI $2,751-$4,000 or PCI $691-$1,000: $14,900 (NUS) & $20,700 (NTU)

Higher Education Bursary:

GHI $4,001-$6,900 or PCI $1,001-$1,725: $10,900 (NUS) & $16,700 (NTU)

GHI $6,901-$9,000 or PCI $1,726-$2,250: $4,900 (NUS) & $10,700 (NTU)

The reason for the difference in bursary amounts would be because the fees for NUS and NTU vary, so MOE calculates the bursary amounts by ensuring that undergraduates who are enrolled in both NUS and NTU will have the same remaining payable fee to the school if the bursary amount is fully used to offset their tuition fees!

Government Loan Schemes

On to the available government loan schemes will be 2 common types of loans! Firstly, the Tuition Fee Loan and secondly, the Study Loan. Both loans have slightly different criterias and help provided so let’s break them down for a clearer understanding.

Tuition Fee Loan (TFL)

TFL is applicable for application for all full-time diploma students, full-time undergraduates and Singaporean part-time undergraduates. The TFL offers an interest-free loan accumulation during the period of study in the institution, and interest will only be accumulated upon student’s graduation. For the Polytechnic students, they can take up TFL for up to 75% of their tuition fees with a 10 years maximum repayment period. And for the Publicly-Funded-University students, they can take up TFL for up to 90% of their tuition fees with a 20 years maximum repayment period.

Study Loan (SL)

SL is applicable for application for full-time diploma Singaporean and Permanent Resident students, all full-time undergraduates and Singaporean part-time undergraduates. These students must have also taken up maximum TFL before being eligible for SL, and have a Gross Monthly Household Per Capita income less than or equals $2,700.

The SL offers an interest-free loan accumulation during the period of study in the institution, and interest will only be accumulated upon student’s graduation for those with household incomes above $950. As for those below or equals $950, they will enjoy interest-free loan accumulation even after graduation! For the Polytechnic students, they can take up SL for up to 25% of their tuition fees and a living allowance loan of $2000 annually with a 5 years maximum repayment period. And for the Publicly-Funded-University students, they can take up SL for up to 10% of their tuition fees and a living allowance loan of $3600 annually with a 20 years maximum repayment period.

School-Based Financial Assistance Schemes

Apart from governmental aid through bursaries or loan schemes, PSEIs each have school-based financial assistance schemes unique to each school as well! This is to further supplement the already existing financial aid provided to students. The following schools are Singapore PSEIs who have available schemes:

As each school has different additional schemes and application procedures, it would be advisable to check with the school directly either via their websites or through their contact numbers! When admitted into one of the PSEIs, you may also approach (usually) the Office of Financial Aid for the respective institutions to further discuss the best financial aid option for your circumstances.

You’re never alone in this battle between money and education, and should never be discouraged to pursue further education. As a home tuition, FamilyTutor hope this article has shed more light at the end of the tunnel and wish you all the best in your further studies!

By the way, the ‘Simply Advice’ series conveniently gives you information that is useful any day any time. It aims to shed some light on pertinent topics and provide you with the best advice!

Zoe

Zoe

Zoe is an undergraduate student in Singapore who loves thinking deeply and translating them into writing. She hopes her reflective opinions and sound advice weaved into relevant articles will be useful for you in one way or another!

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