Student Revolving Loan Fund reportedly ‘broke’
Barbadians students seeking financial support from the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) to pursue further studies are being turned down in what appears to be a blanket rejection, with the agency said to be out of funds.
Barbados TODAY was informed that all of those whose applications came up for consideration on Monday were rejected with no explanation.
Though confirming the across-the-board rejections, an official source did not disclose the number of students affected.
Students have this week been receiving a terse automatic email rejection, signed by the Fund’s Acting Loans Manager Juliana Fraser.
“We regret to inform you that the Management Committee of the Student Revolving Loan Fund is unable to finance your course of study at this time.
“We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in your future endeavours,” the email states, adding in capital letters: “This is an automatic message, please do not reply.”
One student who intended to pursue a law degree at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad suggested the SRLF had run out of money and emergency funding it expected did not come through.
“But we still have three weeks to work with so I’m saying if the funds didn’t come through yet, wait and see what will happen,” said the student who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity in the event SRLF administrators had a change of heart.
She said she remained hopeful that her application for a $30,000 loan would be approved, despite receiving a rejection yesterday.
According to the student, a number of her friends were looking forward to their studies abroad and had been counting on the loans.
“Now we got rejected at the last minute. This got me in a total tailspin now. I don’t know what to do.
“Only yesterday [Wednesday] I put in my acceptance letter from Hugh Wooding to the Student Revolving [Loan Fund] and within half an hour is when my email came.”
She said that at this stage she had nowhere to turn.
“I just went to Student Revolving, I didn’t go anywhere else. My reason is that I had two years before I could start paying, because I’m going to be on half pay, and I need to be able to cover my mortgage.
“My half pay would have covered my mortgage and then that [loan] would have paid my accommodation and stuff like that.”
The office administrator said she had begun making arrangements to travel, including advising her employer who had already engaged a substitute for the two-year period during which she would be out.
She added that a friend with whom she intended to share accommodation in Trinidad had a similar dilemma.
“My friend applied for leave. She works in Government – two of them, and they have been granted the leave,” she said.
The student said that she was saved a probable loss of her accommodation deposit because her roommate had received the rejection email while in the bank preparing to wire the $2,000 deposit to the prospective landlord.
However, she said some of her friends were not as lucky because they had opted for on-campus accommodation.
“Other persons already sent their deposits to the law school for housing because that had to get in by July 31.”
When contacted, SRLF Administrative Manager Ambrose Johnson refused to comment, referring all enquiries to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education June Chandler, who was said to be in a meeting.
Reports that the SRLP was short of cash have come against a backdrop of a $US7.5 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank that was announced in 2015 and set to be disbursed this year.