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HomeNewsLocal NewsSKN Government reduces financial strain of students through Graduate Finance Project

SKN Government reduces financial strain of students through Graduate Finance Project


by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will roll out the second phase of its Graduate Finance Project with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.

As of June 01, 2023, students with existing loans from the Development Bank can benefit from the Graduate Finance Project, which offers reduced loan interest, Dr. Drew informed.

“The other thing we have done is that the existing loans, we are going to take them down from 9% to 5% on the first of June. We want to encourage the students who have loans in the Development Bank to visit the Development Bank to benefit from this programme. It means, therefore, that somebody can have a loan payment of, let’s say, $1,200 or $1,500 per month and that, because of 9% to 5%, can bring you way down. From the calculations, you will save hundreds of dollars.”

The Government aims to remove the barriers to higher education and ensure the people of St. Kitts and Nevis succeed, explained Dr. Drew. The Graduate Finance Project is geared towards the advancement of the citizenry.

“We want to remove barriers to achieving higher level education. If we look at Europe and we look at the United States and China and so forth, and they are seeking to give their people more opportunities to advance their education, we are a small country, “How can we not seek to do the same for our people?

The Prime Minister empathised with students who struggled to settle their loans and highlighted some of the struggles they are faced with.

“A lot of the students will come back and meet this accumulated interest that took place during the time they were studying. They couldn’t pay that interest, and that was the first thing they had to pay even before they started to pay the principal or the main loan with its own interest. That is why people go away to study and take 10-15 years to pay off their student loans. They can’t afford a mortgage, can’t afford many of them, to move out of their parent’s home. They are in their parent’s home with a degree up to [age] 40, struggling, and we decided that our people who go away to study to advance themselves and to advance the country should not be struggling like that. So we take that and give them as a credit.”

The first phase of the Graduate Finance Project was introduced to the public on April 06, 2023, under the theme “Removing Financial Barriers to Education.” New students who were desirous of pursuing a degree were given loans at a 5% interest rate.

“We are now giving the student loans at 5%, the lowest ever, and we are saying to the students, “You don’t have to pay any interest while you are studying, so you have four years and three months in which you don’t have to pay, and no interest accumulates.” That is a credit of about EC $15,000 to each student who takes one of these loans; a significant amount of money.”

The Prime Minister suggested that the money saved can be put into some sort of necessary investment, such as a home, a business or a vehicle.


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