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The Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP)

The Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) is a low interest loan facility which provides financial assistance to students, in addition to that being provided by the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) grant. It is managed by the Funding and Grants Administration Division of the Ministry of Education and covers tuition and non-tuition expenses related to tertiary education. 

HELP is available to the following students

  • Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago with a continued period of residency of at least three (3) years prior to application   
  • Students attending institutions accredited and programmes approved by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) 
  • Students enrolled at ACTT registered institutions pursuing programmes offering Technical and Vocational Education and   Training (TVET) programmes for Level III and above  
  • Students who already received funding under the GATE programme for any programme of study and will like to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Students who already possess a Bachelor’s Degree  
  • Students between the ages of eighteen (18) years to fifty (50) years  
  • Students whose household income is less than $75,000 per month 
  • Part Time or Full Time Students  
  • Employed or Unemployed Students  
  • Post- Graduate students pursuing studies identified by the Ministry of Planning and Development as being critical to the country’s development needs.

Objective

Objectives of HELP

  • To provide financial assistance to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago pursuing tertiary education, thereby expanding equitable access to tertiary education. 
  • To provide a low interest loan facility, approved and disbursed effectively and efficiently and within a reasonable time frame to students in need. 
  • To assist in increasing the national attainment rate in higher education to 35% by 2030. 
  • To develop a well-educated, qualified cadre of citizens in identified areas of national development and in line with the goals and objectives of Vision 2030. 

HELP covers part, or all, of the following tertiary education expenses where applicable

  • Tuition fees  
  • Accommodation expenses  
  • Airfare  
  • Other relevant transportation costs and living expenses  
  • Books and related materials  
  • Other related tertiary expenses 

Awards of Study

HELP is disbursed for accredited programmes of study that lead to the award of any of the following: 

  • Certificate 
  • Diploma 
  • Associate Degree 
  • Bachelor’s Degree 
  • Postgraduate Diploma 
  • Master’s Degree 
  • Doctoral Degree 

Quantum of Loans Available

  • Loans shall not normally exceed $35,000 per year for 3 years for students pursuing programmes in Trinidad and Tobago and $75,000 per year for 3 years for those students pursuing programmes within the regional campuses of the University of the West Indies.
  • Loans for students enrolled in medical programmes in Trinidad and Tobago not to exceed $175,000 for the five-year period of study 
  • Loans for Trinidad and Tobago students enrolled in medical programmes at approved regional institutions not to exceed $375,000 for the five-year period of study. 

The application Process

  • Students will take completed HELP application forms, along with all required accompanying documents, including a Letter of Acceptance from the tertiary level institution to the Loans Department of his/her commercial bank 
  • The Bank will receive and certify as correct and true all supporting documentation. 
  • The Bank will ensure that the application is properly completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Higher Education Loan Programme.  
  • The Bank will interview the student to obtain additional information as considered necessary for adequate evaluation of the student. 
  • The Bank will forward and submit the completed HELP Loan applications to the Director, (FGAD) at the Ministry of Education for final determination. 
  • The Ministry will inform the Bank of its decision within (4) weeks after the date of the receipt of the application from the Bank 
  • Other terms and conditions apply. 

HELP application forms are available at

Ministry of Education / TT connect website (Click Here)

All branches of the participating commercial banks namely: 

  • Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Royal Bank Canada Trinidad and Tobago Limited
  • Republic Bank limited

Contact Information

Funding and Grants Administration Division
#16 Warner Street, 
St. Augustine 
Tel: (868) 663 0244 ext. (531) 2040 or 2062
Email: helploans@moe.gov.tt