Applying for Student Financial Assistance

In this article you will find pointers to a variety of student financial assistance schemes administered by the Student Finance Office to help you pick the ones 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 eligible full-time students.  To be eligible for the scheme, the applicant must:

  • be registered as a full-time student of a recognised course at one of the recognised institutions, taking up an exclusively publicly-funded, including the University Grants Committee (“UGC”)-funded, student place; and
  • have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("Hong Kong"); or alternatively, the applicant or his/her family must have resided in Hong Kong continuously for three complete years prior to the commencement of the course*.
    (Remarks: This does not cover non-local students holding –
    • student visas / entry permits;
    • visas / entry permits under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates; or
    • dependant visas / entry permits which were issued by the Director of Immigration when the relevant students were 18 years old or above.)
    * Applicants without the right of abode in Hong Kong (without the alphabet "A" beneath the Date of Birth field of the Hong Kong Identity Card) should also provide a copy of their entry permits to Hong Kong, e.g. one-way permit / dependant visa, etc., with their applications.

Financial assistance under TSFS is made up of the following components –

  • grant for tuition fee (excluding continuation fee) payable to the concerned local institution;
  • grant for academic expenses for course of study;
  • grant for compulsory union fees;
  • loan for living expenses;
  • hostel subsidy (for eligible undergraduate students only); and
  • additional academic expenses grant for students with special educational needs.

The maximum level of assistance is adjusted on an annual basis. Please refer to the WFSFAA website below for the updated information and rates.

Level of Financial Assistance

Your eligibility for financial assistance depends on the financial position of your family. If you would like to have a rough idea of your level of assistance, you may try the Calculator on the WFSFAA website.

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

More about TSFSRecommended submission schedule 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. Loan borrowers have to pay interest for their loans. Interest rate is set at the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“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. Interest is accrued upon loan drawdown. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved to reduce the risk-adjusted factor to zero since the 2012/13 academic year.

The maximum loan amount is the applicants’ total annual tuition fees payable in the academic year. Students who receive financial assistance under the TSFS may be entitled to loan under the NLSFT up to the difference between the maximum financial assistance under the TSFS and the amount of financial assistance they 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 loan limit will be price-adjusted annually in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index.

Loan(s) 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 NLSFTRecommended application submission schedule for continuing students and new students of respective 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 the level of associate degree, higher diploma or degree. To be eligible for the scheme, you should also:

  • be aged 30 or below;
  • have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (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*.

    (Remarks: This does not cover students holding –
    1. student visas/entry permits;
    2. visas /entry permits under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates; or
    3. dependant visas/entry permits which were issued to them by the Director of Immigration when they were 18 years old or above.)
    * Applicants without the right of abode in Hong Kong (without the alphabet "A" beneath the Date of Birth field of the Hong Kong Identity Card) should also provide a copy of their entry permits to Hong Kong, e.g. one-way permit/dependant visa, etc., with their applications.

Financial assistance under FASP is made up of the following components –

  • grant for tuition fee (excluding continuation fee) payable to the concerned local institution;
  • grant for academic expenses for course of study;
  • loan for living expenses;
  • hostel subsidy (for eligible undergraduate students only); and
  • additional academic expenses grant for students with special educational needs.

The maximum level of assistance is adjusted on an annual basis. Please refer to the WFSFAA website below for the updated information and rates.

Level of Financial Assistance

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 closing dates 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)

Eligible applicants for the FASP can also apply for the NLSPS which provides financial assistance in the form of a loan. The NLSPS operates on a full-cost recovery basis. Loan borrowers have to pay interest for their loans. Interest rate 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. Interest is accrued at the prevailing NLS interest rate upon loan drawdown and throughout the study period until the loan is repaid in full. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council has approved to reduce the risk-adjusted factor to zero since the 2012/13 academic year.

Eligible students who apply for the NLSPS loans only may receive loan up to their total annual tuition fees payable in the academic year. Students who receive financial assistance under the FASP may be entitled to loan under the NLSPS up to the difference between the maximum financial assistance (i.e. actual tuition fees payable plus the maximum amounts of assistance for academic expenses and living expenses) under the FASP and the amount of financial assistance they may receive under the FASP, 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 the NLSPS. The loan limit will be price-adjusted annually in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index. Loan(s) 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 NLSPSRecommended submission schedule

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 may submit an unlimited number of claims for reimbursement of course fees on successful completion of CEF reimbursable courses up to a maximum sum of HK$25,000. The co-payment ratios by learners (i.e. the percentage of fees to be borne by learners) for the first HK$10,000 subsidy is 20% of the course fee and that for the remaining HK$15,000 subsidy is 40% of the course fee. Check out CEF’s website for the eligibility criteria, application procedures and reimbursable course list.

The approval of subsidy is subject to your eligibility for the application. You can estimate the eligible subsidy by using the subsidy calculator available on the website of CEF.

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
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Last revision date: August 2023