The Financial Assistance (Studies) Programme is a government initiative designed to assist students in the pursuit of a post-secondary qualification or first undergraduate qualification. The assistance is given in the form of a grant and acts as a supplementary fund to which applying does not guarantee funding.
The grant can be accessed only once as it works in tandem with the student’s existing financial plans. Successful awardees would be required to enter into an agreement with the government to work within the territory of Trinidad and Tobago for a period specified. Any breach in the agreement on the part of the student would result in the grant being converted to a loan.
The programme was conceptualised in 2002 under the then Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs where it was initially referred to as a scholarship programme. It was subsequently renamed the Financial Assistance (Studies) Programme with a focus towards the underprivileged citizens undertaking programmes of training and/or study in traditional and non-traditional areas. The programme was transferred under the purview of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in July 2011 and later re-assigned to the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (TEST) in September 2013.
The programme is eligible to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Candidates must not reside permanently in any other country.
- Applicants must be enrolled in an approved/recognised/accredited programme by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) or the National Training Agency (NTA) locally or regionally in their pursuit of a post-secondary qualification or first undergraduate qualification. The assistance is applicable to any year of study for local and regional programmes.
- Applicants attending foreign universities would only be considered provided that:
- The programme of study is not available locally or regionally and is relevant to the current development needs of the country
- The programme of study is approved/recognised by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) or National Training Agency (NTA)
- The assistance is needed to complete the final year of study.
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 (if they have been enrolled in the programme of study for more than one academic year), and the GPA must be maintained for the disbursement of approved tranches. The following types of students are not eligible for the programme:
- Recipients of a full scholarship offered by and through the Government of Trinidad and Tobago are not eligible for funding under this programme.
- Applicants who were previously deemed to have deliberately misrepresented application information will be disqualified from future applications.
- Graduates of an undergraduate programme are not eligible for funding under this programme.