Student Loan Programs in Pakistan
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Student Loan Programs in Pakistan

Student Loan Programs in Pakistan

Students getting loans to carry out their studies in high schools and pursue professional education is a norm in Western countries. There are many state-sponsored programs through which students can apply for loans and they can return the money after they graduate. In the US particularly, Student loans are subsidized by the federal government and many students coming from a less privileged background can get the necessary funding for their undergraduate studies. Student Loan programs in Pakistan, however, are not a norm, though education in the government institution is free up to the matriculation level after that, education becomes a hassle for many Pakistanis, especially for families with low monthly incomes, and hence many students are unable to continue their studies after matriculation. There are many non-government organizations, that offer different loan programs to students. This article aims to highlight some of such programs that are facilitating students in achieving their goals.

FAST University Study Loan

Keeping in mind that not all students can afford the fees, Fast University, one of the leading institutions of Pakistan when it comes to IT and computer science, arranges financial assistance in the form of interest-free study loans for bright indigent students. This assistance is subject to renewal every semester in light of the student’s academic performance though this financial assistance is limited to tuition fees only and is discontinued if the student’s CGPA falls below the minimum specified to avoid warning. This is an important initiative about Student Loan Programs in Pakistan as it helps students maneuver their way through their undergraduate studies and help them excel in their professional life. Another such program in FAST is OSAF Financial Assistance (Study Loan). OSAF Financial Assistance (OFA) aims to provide financial support to students who are unable to continue their studies at FAST-NU due to financial constraints. OFA program currently offers loans to BS students of the Lahore Campus in Fall and Spring semesters (except the first semester). The allocation is based on the financial need of the student which is judged by a panel of interviewers in each semester.

Akhuwat Islamic Micro-Finance

Akhuwat is another NGO being run by a famous philanthropist Dr Amajd Saqib, and his organization under the program of “Islamic Microfinance” offered financial assistance to deserving families with a zero percent interest rate. They also offer loans to students who cannot afford education otherwise. This initiative is also a key step forward in the right direction regarding Student Loan Programs in Pakistan

National Bank Student Loan Scheme

The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) offers a student loan scheme to those who cannot afford their higher education. NBP Student loan scheme is for those studying in Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and PhD programs and has obtained a minimum of 70% marks in the previous examination. Students of Public Sector Institutions can apply for National Bank Student Loan Scheme 2022. NBP Loan scheme offers interest-free loans to students.

Loan Programs of Other Universities

Universities other than FAST, also provide financial aid and have different loan programs for their students. For example, IBA Karachi offers Qarz-e-Hasana for their students who are from a low socio-economic background

Conclusion

There are no state-sponsored and state-funded student loan programs in Pakistan and that’s mainly because education is one of the most neglected areas when it comes to spending state’s resources. The need of the hour is to not increase the annual budget for education but to initiate several loan programs, especially for the peripheral region of the country, targeting students and helping them carry out their studies without worrying about finances, the impact of such initiatives would be far-reaching as these students will later join the industry to pay back the loan and would play their effective role in the nation-building.

Related: Value of Internship in Higher Education

The writer, Muhammad Saad, is an M.Phil scholar of Political Science at GCU Lahore.

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