Mature students seeking funding
By Natasha Beckles | Mon, June 18, 2012 - 12:01 AM
MATURE STUDENTS are increasingly seeking to benefit from the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF), and non-traditional areas of study are seeing more interest.
Word of this came from SRLF officials last week during an interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
Following a 2010 amendment to the Student Revolving Loan Fund Act, guidance officer Alan Roach said the availability of funding for distance learning and part-time study had opened the door for older students.
“There has been a shift over the last couple of years towards more mature students.
“While traditionally [people] may have had the perception that we were targeting just the younger generation – those who were now leaving school – I think the word is getting out there more and more that we [also] cater to mature students,” he said.
Administrative manager Roslyn Shepherd noted that while individuals over the age of 50 could apply for loans, these had to be approved by the Minister of Education.
“The only constraint we have is that we have group life insurance and that would only cover up to age 67 so you would have to study and repay your loan by the time you’re 67,” she said.
With regard to areas of study, Roach noted that while a lot of people were still pursuing traditional business subjects, some have “started to filter into some non-traditional areas”.
“There are also a number of [people] doing technical studies such as engineering, the different types of engineering ranging from electrical to civil and building.
“We also have some increased interest in the arts [and] cultural studies which varies from the actual act of doing the arts, like dancing, to the administrative level,” he said, adding that film was also emerging as an area of interest.
Loans manager Ambrose Johnson said: “Even within the traditional business track I’ve seen a leaning towards courses like banking and finance, which was not traditional.”
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