Parents, Educators Welcome Student Loan Program

The Government’s decision to provide loans for poor students has received an enthusiastic response and positive feedback from parents, academics, education officials and the general public.

Students can borrow money from the Government to finish their studies

Mr. Tran Van Tien, deputy director of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies’ Ho Chi Minh City branch, told SGGP there was VND3 billion available in the student loan fund at present.

Whether at a public or private school, a student can borrow a maximum of VND300,000 a month up to an annual limit of VND3 million at just 0.65 percent interest, and the borrowing procedure takes only 30 minutes to complete.

Dr. Nguyen Dung, rector of the private Van Lang University in HCMC, is full of praise for the program. He says more than 70 percent of Van Lang’s students come from other parts of Viet Nam and many are in great need of financial support.

Another benefit of the program, Dr. Dung notes, is that the loan recipients can spend more time at their studies rather than working part-time to make ends meet. It would help even more, he says, if the Ministry of Finance could raise the annual borrowing cap beyond VND3 million.

Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan, who runs the Banking Department and the Student Aid Center of the HCMC University of Economics, points out that the government funding for the program will only be enough for 20-30 percent of the students in need.

Since many banks already make student loans, he says, the government should support these institutions and thereby help more students from poor families.

Mr. Giang Ngoc Phuong, vice president of the HCMC Student Association and director of the HCMC Student Aid Center, says more and more poor students are relying on loans, scholarships and other financial assistance with each passing year.

This month, at the start of the new academic year, 450 disadvantaged students received scholarships totaling VND600 million from the Student Aid Center.

Moreover, the center has set up its own fund to help students who are at risk of quitting school for financial reasons. The loans are interest-free and those borrowers who achieve excellent academic results do not need to repay the money and even get a VND500,000 bonus. 
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PM Explains No-Student-Left-Behind Policy

By Staff Writers – Translated by Khanh Hong

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