Nigeria Student Loan Requirements and how to apply

Are you seeking for student loan, a financial assistance program established by the Access to Higher Education Bill, enacted on June 12, 2023? If ‘yes’, this article will provide in details the Nigeria student loan requirements and how to access the fund. Before you continue reading, take a time to check A Guide on Applying for the CBN Non-Interest Loan.

This initiative is designed to provide interest-free loans to indigent or low-income Nigerian students, facilitating the payment of their tuition fees for higher education.

The program aims to foster educational accessibility, recognizing the link between education and national development. Administered by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the dedicated fund ensures resources for loan disbursement, and the repayment terms are structured to balance financial viability and post-graduation economic circumstances of the beneficiaries.

In a landmark move to enhance educational accessibility, Nigeria enacted the Access to Higher Education Bill, commonly known as the Student Loans Scheme, on June 12, 2023.

This legislation aims to provide a legal framework for granting interest-free loans to indigent or low-income Nigerians, facilitating the payment of their tuition fees. Let’s delve into the key provisions and requirements of this progressive initiative.

Nigeria Student Loan Requirements

The requirements for the Nigeria Student Loan, as outlined in the Access to Higher Education Bill of 2023, include:

1. Applicants must first obtain admission into a public Nigerian university, polytechnic, College of Education (COE), or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school.

2. The applicant’s income or family income should not exceed N500,000 per annum.

3. The applicant must provide a minimum of two civil servants as guarantors. These guarantors should either be at least at level 12 in service or meet specific criteria, such as a lawyer with at least 10 years of post-call experience, a judicial officer, or a Justice of Peace.

4. Students who have previously defaulted on loans or have been found guilty of exam malpractices, felony, or drug offenses will not be considered eligible for the loan.

5. All loan applications should be submitted through the Students Affairs Office of each institution. The applications must include a list of all qualified applicants from the institution, accompanied by a cover letter signed by the Vice-Chancellor, Rector, or the head of the institution and the student affairs office.

It is important to note that the current loan process covers tuition fees only, and there is a suggestion to incorporate a merit-based approach in the eligibility criteria to consider both academic excellence and financial need for a more comprehensive assessment of students’ qualifications.

Objective and Key Provisions

The primary objective of the Nigeria Student Loan Act is to foster the accessibility of higher education for Nigerian students. By recognizing the crucial link between education and national development, the Act establishes a framework providing financial assistance to eligible students, ensuring that financial hardships do not hinder academic pursuits.

One of the key mechanisms involves the creation of a dedicated fund managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This fund ensures the availability of resources for disbursement, emphasizing the government’s commitment to supporting education.

Sources of Funding

According to Section 12 of the Act, the sources of funds for the student loans scheme are diverse and include education bonds, education endowment fund schemes, a percentage of taxes, levies, and duties, as well as donations, gifts, grants, endowments, or any other revenue from various sources.

How to Access the Loans

To access the student loans, applicants must follow a transparent process outlined in the Act. However, it is important to note that the current approach only covers tuition fees, leaving a gap for other essential student needs.

The application process includes obtaining admission into a public Nigerian educational institution, meeting income criteria, providing guarantors, and submitting applications through the Students Affairs Office.

Monitoring and Repayment

Repayment of the loan begins two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. The repayment amount is deducted directly from the beneficiary’s salary or, for self-employed individuals, remitted from their monthly profit to the designated Students Loan account.

Section 6 (f) of the Act incorporates a system for continuous monitoring of academic records, ensuring accountability. The Act establishes clear repayment terms to strike a balance between the loan system’s financial viability and the post-graduation economic circumstances of the beneficiaries.

Penalties for Default

While supporting students, the Act also emphasizes repayment responsibility. Section 18 (6) stipulates penalties for defaulting on loan repayments, including fines and imprisonment. Defaulting parents can affect a student’s eligibility for the loan, reinforcing the shared responsibility between the government and recipients.


The Nigeria Student Loan Act of 2023 marks a significant step toward educational inclusivity and national development. Although commendable, its successful implementation relies on thorough testing by Nigerians. By addressing potential lacunas and ensuring effective execution, this legislation holds the potential to create a brighter educational future for Nigerian students.

Leave a Comment