Points to Note When Applying Student Financial Assistances

In this article you will find pointers to a variety of student financial assistances administered by the Student Finance Office to help you pick the schemes that suit your needs.

For Students of the Publicly Funded Post-secondary Programmes

Tertiary Student Finance Scheme – Publicly-funded Programmes (TSFS)

TSFS provides means-tested financial assistance to full-time students. To be eligible for the scheme, you should:

  • be a full-time student taking up a publicly-funded student place of a recognised course at one of the higher institutions covered in the scheme;
  • have the right of abode in Hong Kong or have resided or have had your home in Hong Kong continuously for 3 complete years prior to the commencement of the course.

The financial assistance is provided in the form of a grant and/or loan.

Maximum grant:

  • tuition fee payable to the local institution;
  • academic expenses for the course of study; and
  • the compulsory student union fees.

Maximum loan:

  • $48,370 for 2016/17 academic year
  • same for all students

The amount of a grant and/or loan is subject to the assessment of your financial circumstances. But you can obtain a rough estimate by trying the calculator below.

Calculator for estimating the amount of assistance

For details of the eligibility criteria, application procedures and repayment arrangements please refer to the link below.

More about of TSFSApplication deadlines for different institutions

Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Full-time Tertiary Students (NLSFT)

Eligible applicants for the TSFS can also apply for NLSFT which provides financial assistance in the form of a loan. The NLSFT operates on a full-cost recovery basis. Interest is set at the Government’s no-gain-no-loss rate plus a risk-adjusted factor which seeks to cover the government’s risk in disbursing unsecured loans, once the loan is drawn down. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved to reduce the risk-adjusted factor to zero with effect from the 2012/13 academic year, and the arrangement is currently under review.

The maximum loan amount is capped at the annual tuition fees payable for the course under application. If you have received any financial assistance under the TSFS, the maximum amount of your NLSFT loan would be the difference between the maximum financial assistance under the TSFS and the actual amount of financial assistance you may receive under the TSFS, subject to the NLSFT loan maximum (equivalent to the tuition fees payable) not being exceeded.

With effect from the 2012/13 academic year, a combined life-time loan limit is imposed on students eligible for receiving loans under the NLSFT and the Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Post-secondary Students (NLSPS).  The combined life-time loan limit will be price-adjusted annually in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index.  Loan disbursed from the 2012/13 academic year and onwards will be counted towards the combined life-time loan limit, which is not of revolving nature and will not be reset by any repayments.

For details please refer to the link below.

More about NLSFTApplication deadlines for different institutions

For Students Pursuing Locally-Accredited, Self-financing Post-secondary Programmes

Financial Assistance Scheme for Post-secondary Students (FASP)

FASP provides means-tested financial assistance to needy full-time students pursuing locally- accredited, self-financing post-secondary education programmes at sub-degree (i.e. associate degree or higher diploma) or degree level. To be eligible for the scheme, you should also:

  • be aged 30 or below;
  • have the right of abode in Hong Kong or have resided or have had your home in Hong Kong continuously for 3 complete years immediately prior to the commencement of the course.

The financial assistance is provided in the form of a grant and/or loan.

Maximum grant:

  • tuition fees payable, capped at $78,610 for 2016/17 academic year; and
  • academic expenses of $5,430 for 2016/17 academic year.

Maximum loan:

  • basic living expenses of $48,370 for 2016/17 academic year

The amount of a grant and/or loan is subject to the assessment of your financial circumstances. But you may have a rough idea of your entitled financial assistance by trying the calculator below.

Calculator for estimation of amount of assistance under FASP

For details of the eligibility criteria, application procedures and repayment arrangements, please refer to the link below.

More about FASPApplication deadlines for different institutions

To check out the locally-accredited, self-financing post-secondary programmes at sub-degree level or above, you can go to iPASS.

iPASS

The Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Post-secondary Students (NLSPS)

Apart from the FASP, you can also apply for the NLSPS which provides assistance in the form of loan(s). To be eligible for the NLSPS, you should be a full-time student an eligible programme under the FASP. The NLSPS operates on a full-cost recovery basis. Interest is set at the Government’s no-gain-no-loss rate plus a risk-adjusted factor which seeks to cover the government’s risk in disbursing unsecured loans, once the loan is drawn down.  The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved to reduce the risk-adjusted factor to zero with effect from the 2012/13 academic year, and the arrangement is currently under review.

If you apply for the NLSPS only, the maximum loan amount is capped at the annual tuition fees payable for the course under application.

If you apply for financial assistance under both the FASP and NLSPS, the maximum financial assistance you may receive under these two schemes is capped at the annual tuition fees payable for the course under application plus the maximum amount of academic expenses grant and living expenses loan of FASP. If you have received any financial assistance under the FASP, the maximum amount of NLSPS loan would be the difference between the actual financial assistance you may receive under the FASP and the maximum financial assistance you may receive under these two schemes, subject to the NLSPS loan maximum (equivalent to the tuition fees payable) not being exceeded.

With effect from the 2012/13 academic year, a combined life-time loan limit is imposed on students eligible for receiving loans under the NLSFT and NLSPS.  The combined life-time loan limit will be price-adjusted annually in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index. Loan disbursed from the 2012/13 academic year and onwards will be counted towards the combined life-time loan limit, which is not of revolving nature and will not be reset by any repayments.

For details please refer to the link below.

More about NLSPSDeadline of submission of applications

Other Schemes

Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS)

Students who are pursuing specific part-time and full-time post-secondary and continuing and professional education courses provided in Hong Kong  may apply for the ENLS loan to meet their tuition fees.  The ENLS operates on a full-cost recovery basis.  Interest is set at the Government’s no-gain-no-loss rate plus a risk-adjusted factor which seeks to cover the Government’s risk in disbursing unsecured loan.  The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved to reduce the risk-adjusted factor to zero with effect from the 2012/13 academic year, and the arrangement is currently under review.  Be aware that once your loan application under the ENLS is approved and the loan is drawn down, you are liable for loan repayment and the interest accrued.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to prudently select a suitable course and course provider.

The maximum loan amount is the annual tuition fees payable for the course under the application.

With effect from the 2012/13 academic year, a life-time loan limit is imposed on each student eligible for receiving loans under the ENLS.  The life-time loan limit will be price-adjusted annually in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index.  Loan disbursed from the 2012/13 academic year and onwards will be counted towards the life-time loan limit, which is not of revolving nature and will not be reset by any repayments.

For details, please refer to the link below.

More about ENLSApplication deadline

Continuing Education Fund (CEF)

The CEF subsidises adult learners who enrol in the reimbursable education and training courses. Eligible applicants will be reimbursed 80% of their tuition fees, subject to a maximum sum of HK$10,000(whichever is the less), on successful completion of the course. Check out CEF’s website for the eligibility criteria, application procedures and reimbursable course list.

More about CEF

Financial Assistance Scheme for Designated Evening Adult Education Courses (FAEAEC)

Students aged 17 or above and attending designated secondary courses can apply for the FAEAEC. Eligible students will be reimbursed 30%, 50% or 100% of the tuition fees paid, subject to their meeting the prescribed criteria. Details of the Schemes are available on the link below.

Check out FAEAEC

Public Forms

You can find application forms for various financial assistance schemes on the link below.

Application forms of various financial assistance schemes
Last review date: September 2016