In Pakistan, there are several options available for students seeking interest-free educational loans. These are particularly targeted towards meritorious and deserving students from public sector institutions.
Interest Free Students Loan Scheme
The Interest Free Student Loan Scheme is an initiative by the Government of Pakistan to provide financial assistance to deserving students. Administered by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), this scheme offers interest-free loans to students, enabling them to pursue higher education.
The loan covers the entire duration of the study, including scheduled fees paid directly to the University/College, boarding expenses excluding meal charges, and procurement of textbooks.
The following banks participate in the Interest Free Student Loan Scheme:
- National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
- Habib Bank Limited (HBL)
- United Bank Limited (UBL)
- Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB)
- Allied Bank Limited (ABL)
To be eligible for this scheme, students must meet the following criteria:
- Admission must have been obtained on merit through normal course/procedure in the approved public sector Universities/Colleges.
- The student’s age at admission should not exceed 21 years for graduation, 31 years for post-graduation, and 36 years for Ph.D.
- The student must have secured at least 70% marks in the last public examination.
- The student must be studying one of the approved subjects.
- The student must be unable to pursue studies due to financial constraints.
Fields Supported by the Program
The Interest Free Student Loan Scheme supports the following fields of study:
- Oil, Gas & Petro-Chemical Technology
- Molecular Biology & Genetics
- Other Natural Sciences
- DAWA and Islamic Jurisprudence (LL.B/LL.M Sharia)
- Computer Science/Information System and Technology including hardware
- Statistics and Econometrics
- Business Management Sciences
- Any other subjects approved by HEC.
Public Sector Universities Supported
The Interest Free Student Loan Scheme applies to all public sector universities and degree awarding institutions that are recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Students can obtain the application form from any of the participating banks or download it from their respective websites. Completed forms along with necessary documents should be submitted to the same branch from where the form was obtained.
Repayment of Loan
The repayment of the loan starts one year after the completion of the degree program or six months after getting a job, whichever is earlier. The loan has to be repaid in 10 years.
In conclusion, the Interest Free Student Loan Scheme by the Government of Pakistan is a beacon of hope for many deserving students who wish to pursue higher education but are hindered by financial constraints. This initiative, administered by the National Bank of Pakistan and supported by various other banks, covers a wide array of fields and supports students in numerous public sector universities. It not only covers tuition fees but also boarding expenses and textbook costs. With a flexible repayment period, this scheme truly embodies the government’s commitment to making education accessible for all. This investment in human capital is sure to reap benefits for the individual students and the Pakistani economy as a whole in the years to come.