Methods of Financing Education in Kenya

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Ways of Financing Higher Education

Financing higher education is expensive in developing countries especially Kenya. This includes financing for tuition fees, accommodation as well as material costs. Hence, the following programs and methods have been established to finance higher education to support needy students to acquire the education they desire.

Work-Study Employment Plans

This is an education financial aid program that enables a student a way of earning toward tuition fees by working either on or off campus. The government provides the money therefore; every financial aid office must have specific details of one’s program like work-study positions, number of working hours per week as well as the approved work-study employers.

Need-Based Educational Grants

Vulnerable students can obtain a grant for education from the university’s financial aid office. There are other available educational grants depending on the student’s qualifications. Educational grants are not repaid even though qualifying for them is challenging

Internships and Apprenticeships

Employers offer training opportunities during internships and apprentices for white collar jobs and blue collar jobs respectively. Even though the programs do not pay much, they enable the student to obtain experience in their career and this may result in job offers from their employers.

Merit-Based Scholarships

A number of high school students are awarded scholarships that are merit-based financial aid that is not repaid.  Some qualifications for scholarships depend on the student’s performance or scores in high school tests like the ACT or SAT Reasoning.


In Kenya, student loans have more attention because most students can’t afford costly education hence allowing them to get loans and study peacefully throughout college and pay later in small chunks after getting an official job. There are various types of loans and loan lenders in Kenya like HELB being the most common one. Other loan lenders include Musoni, Soma loans by Bank of Africa, Zidisha school fees, KCB, Equity and National Bank student loans.

Sources of Financial aid for Kenyan secondary schools.

Bursary Scheme

The main sources of funding secondary schools education is through Bursary and banks scholarships. The presidential Secondary Schools Bursary Scheme (PSSB) was established in 2013 by the government to help orphans as well as vulnerable students to enhance student enrollment and completion of school. Eligible students to apply must be below 18 years, an orphan or vulnerable student and be in a government school.


Scholarships are sources of funds that help needy students who have performed well in their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. The scholarships include;

  • Wings to fly by Equity bank,
  • KCB Bank,
  • Co-operative Bank Foundation,
  • KTDA National Tea Scholarship,
  • KenGen Foundation Scholarship,
  • The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation Scholarship (JKF)
  • Family Bank Scholarship

Challenges in Financing Education

  • Bursary schemes lack guidelines on the amount of money allocated to each student; they do not select students who are genuinely needy and inadequate awareness of bursary existence.
  • Lack of coordination, delays in releasing the funds as well as lack of monitoring mechanisms
  • There mismanagement, no transparency, and accountability of funds.
  • Less deserving and well-connected students are awarded the money and the neediest students miss the opportunity.


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