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Sat, Feb 21, 2009
The Straits Times
A leg up for students

FOR UNIVERSITY GRADUATES

No loan repayment for one year; poly grads eligible too

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» Free uniforms in addition to free textbooks and exam fee subsidy » Needy students can get up to $2,060 yearly in extra aid» $250 more in MOE bursary helps needy students with expenses

RECENT Singapore Management University graduate Ben Toh, 27, is glad he will soon get a one-year respite from making payments on his $18,000 tuition fee loan - given the grim economic climate.

The Ministry of Education is suspending the repayment of tuition fee and study loans for polytechnic and university graduates from April 1.

Mr Toh, a management associate at a private equity firm, is the sole breadwinner providing for his elderly parents. He is also helping to pay off an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 of a loan on the family's four-room HDB flat.

He completed his degree in 3-1/2 years, instead of the usual four, to start earning earlier.

'In view of the poor economy and bleak job market, I am worried about my future and job security. As such, I am happy to defer my tuition fee repayment until next year...It gives me time to save up some funds,' he said.

WHAT'S NEW IN THIS BUDGET

  • Payment of tuition fees and study loans will be suspended from this April 1 to March 31, 2010.
  • During this period, graduates will not be charged interest on outstanding loans.
  • Repayment will be automatically suspended even for those already servicing the loans.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

 
 
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