Just over $5.5 billion in loans and grants are expected to be disbursed to some 13,325 applicants by the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) during 2021/22. These form a part of the overall 13,858 eligible applicants on whose behalf the SLB will be disbursing funding to tertiary institutions to finance undergraduate and post-graduate studies.
As stated in the Jamaica Public Bodies Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure for the year ending March 2022, the provisions are part of initiatives that the SLB will pursue during fiscal year 2021/22, with the aim of achieving and maintaining operational efficiency and viability, and enhanced public perception and awareness.
The SLB will also be facilitating three loan types over the period: a) Targeted; b) Pay-as-You-Study; and c) Postgraduate.
According to the Public Bodies Estimates, the Targeted loans comprise approximately 99 per cent of the loan portfolio and benefits from extended moratorium periods (in school years) prior to the commencement of repayments.
The other two loan types do not have the moratorium feature, and are earmarked for growing the portfolio.
The document indicates that these products will be aligned with the shift in changes in academia, and aim to provide funding for short, certified, online and professional programmes.
Meanwhile, the SLB is slated to undertake enhanced marketing and public education initiatives to promote the entity’s visibility, increase public awareness, improve customer satisfaction, and create positive public perception.
The Bureau forecasts a net surplus on operations of $631.13 million, and a staff complement of 116.