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How to Apply for a Higher Education Students Loans Scheme (HESLS) in Tanzania

This this study attempt to examine the financial sustainability of higher education students’ loans scheme (HESLS) operating in Tanzania via HESLB. The government established higher education students’ loans board (HESLB) through Act No 9 of 2004 (CAP 178) as amended. HESLB was set up to provide financial facilitation in terms of loans to eligible and needy students to help them to cover the cost of their education. After its launch in 2005, the scheme had been facing lots of challenges such as a continuous rise in student’s financial requirements over and above government budget. It also faces hardship in identifying the poor needy students and low rate of the repayment recovery mainly due to strategic deferred debts. In view of that, education stakeholders claimed that the implementation of the HESLS in Tanzania is not only moves out of efficient track but also moved out of being self-sustainable. This study, therefore, employ a mix method approach, use both secondary and primary data in the analysis. It applied a regression model to evaluate the level of financial Sustainability of HESLS in Tanzania. The results found that, despite the fact that there is decreasing trend of Operating self-Sufficiency (OSS), the set of the independent variable tested correlate with the dependent variable. The study suggests that HESLB should expand its revenue base so as to avoid the adverse trend of OSS. Finally, although the present results will contribute to existing knowledge, but knowledge alone is not enough. Therefore, it is anticipated that it will also be a useful other education stakeholders.


The Process for applying a Student loan Scheme is as follows

Step 1: ‘Online application system or Apply directly from HESLS offices

The Board has since 2011/2012 academic year introduced an Online Loan Application System (OLAS) with the aim of simplifying and increasing efficiency of the loan issuance process in Tanzania. You are required to log on your computer and Visit the HESLS website or you can Pick the application form directly from Higher Education Students Loans Board, PLOT No.8 BLOCK NO 46, Service Trade Kijitonyama Area, Sam Nujoma Road, Mwenge, P.O. Box 76068, DAR ES SALAAM.

Step 2: print out the application form and Loan Agreement.

Candidates wishing to apply for Student loans scheme for the application cycle are advised to apply through OLAS print out the application form and Loan Agreement, Applicants are advised to maintain a copy of the application form and the receipt used for mailing the application for subsequent purposes of tracking the application form.

Step 3: Fill the form and attach all the Necessary Documents.

appropriately fill the form following HESLS guidelines, sign the same, attach the necessary documentations and submit to the Board through a EMS or registered mail to visit HESLB website to familiarize yourselves with OLAS before attempting to apply and completing the application form.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fees:

First time applicants must pay non-refundable one-off application fee of Tzs 30,000.00 through M-Pesa, Tigo- Pesa or Airtel money.

Step 5: Submit the form for Further processing:

Submit the completed form online or directly to the HESLS Head office the form should be submitted before the closing date, Application lodged beyond the closing dates are not honoured.

Step 6: Disbursement of the Loan:

The HESLS loan committee will shortlist the applicant and approved (successful) applicant will be listed and the names be posted on the HESLS website and also be printed in the Local Media print, Approved student loans will be disbursed to directly to Higher Education Institutions Bank Accounts.

Step 7: Remitting the loan to the Student account:.

The Higher Education Institutions upon being satisfied that the student loan beneficiary has reported and been registered or has passed all the necessary examinations allowing him/her to advance to the next level of study shall remit to the student bank account the amount of loan so far received from the Board.Note

Applicants who are not satisfied with the Awarded Loan Amounts may appeal to the Board as stipulated in the HESLB Regulations of 2008 and as clarified below. All appellants must complete the relevant Online Appeal Forms,make a printout of the same and attach thereto the necessary supporting documents. The Online Loan Application System is accessible at

Appeal Fee (Tzs.10,000 per appeal)

All appeals will attract a non-refundable fee of Tzs, 10,000 per appeal which should be paid using Tigo Pesa, M-Pesa or Airtel Money and the Transaction ID generated should be input into the Online System prior to printing the completed appeal form, otherwise the appeal will not be considered. .

Required Documents

i) Copies of previous Academic documents

ii) A copy of an admission letter from the institution of higher education.

iii) A copy of a document identifying the applicant:

iv) Three recent passport photographs.

v) Chart of prescribed fees. .

vi) Active Bank Account Number. .

Office Locations & Contacts

Executive DirectorPostal AddressHigher Education Students’ Loans BoardPlot No. 8, Block No. 46, Sam Nujoma Road, Mwenge,P. O. Box 76068 Dar es Salaam Tanzania

Phone +255-22-2772432/3

Fax +255-22-2700286




i)Apart from the neediness the government set priority in some of the /courses depending on manpower need to be Eligible for this loan.

ii)All eligible and poor needy students who wished to attend higher education are Eligible to request for student financial facilitation in terms of the loan from HESLB.i

ii)Must be a Tanzanian (as defined by HESLB Act No. 9of 2004, as amended).

iv)Must have applied for a loan through the Online Loan Application System (OLAS).

v)Must have been admitted into a fully accredited/registered Higher Learning Institution as a candidate for a Higher Diploma /First Degree on full time basis through Central Admission System (CAS) or other accepted system in programmes recognized by TCU and NACT.

vi) Must be a continuing student who has passed the examinations necessary to enable him/her to advance to the next year or stage of study.

vii)Must be a person who is not fully funded by other organizations or sources.

viii)Must be first time direct applicants who are form six leavers. These will include only applicants who completed their Advanced Secondary Education (form six) between 2013 and above and must have not been employed.


i)The maximum Tuition fees Tshs 3,600,000.00 (US$ 2250).

ii)Meals and accommodation Tshs 7,500.00 per day (US$ 4.69),

iii) books and stationery Tshs 200,000.00 (US$ 125) per annum. In addition,

iv)field practical /teaching practical work expenses Tshs 560,000 (US$ 350) in a year.

  • In sum, the amount given to the student in a year is relatively higher compared to its neighboring country Kenya.


This varies basing on the duration of course of applicant.But Usually 2-4 years repayment after completion of the studies.


i)The loans are meant to help Students to pay their tuition fees and other living cost.

ii)the priority programs include among others:

a)Education(Pure Science and Mathematics).

b)Other courses are Health /Sciencec)(Doctor of Medicine,d)Dental Surgery,

c)Veterinary medicine,

d)pharmacy, and Nursing) and Civil and Irrigation Engineering please see (HESLB Guidelines).

iii)HESLB determines the ceiling amount for each student and the ceiling depends on the university one’s attend and

the courses one’s pursued.

iv)The loan is ONLY eligible to needy poor students in Tanzania,

Required Information

i)Valid Social Security Number

ii). Guarantors Endorsement

iii).Active Bank Accounti

v). Institutional Endorsementv). Passport-sized Photographs

vi).Admission Letters;

vii.valid Student Identity Cards.

viii)National identification Card.

Need for the Document

The government of Tanzania established higher education students loans board (HESLB) through Act No 9 of 2004 (CAP 178) as amend ed. HESLB was set up to provide financial facilitation in terms of loans to eligible and needy students to help them to cover the cost of their education.

A students Loan scheme is one among many alternatives for financing higher education in various countries around the world. Tanzania is one of the countries that have been practicing loan scheme system for financing higher education sub-sector. The Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) was established under Act No. 9 of 2004 (as amended) and commenced operations in July, 2005,

The history of cost sharing in Tanzania dates back to the British colonial era. However, the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme (HESLS) was introduced in Tanzania in 1994 to encourage cost sharing in higher education (Ishengoma,2004;Galabawa, 1991: URT, 1998;Usher, 2011; HESLB 2005, Nitume, 2011; Nyahende, 2013).

Since 1994 when the HESLS was introduced, the loans were advanced by the Government through the then Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology (MHEST).

Higher Education StudentsLoan Board(HESLB).HESLB started its operation July 2005 and since then the loans are advanced by the government through HESLB (HESLB strategic planning 2008 2011).

HESLB was set up to provide financial facilitation in terms of loans to eligible and needy students to help them to pay for their education (HESLB Act, 2004) Among other things, the Board has been entrusted by the Government of Tanzania with the responsibility to issue loans to students pursuing Diploma in Science/Mathematics with Education and Diploma in Primary Education (Science/Mathematics)/ Higher Diplomas and Degree studies at accredited Higher Education Institutions in and outside the country, issue grants to Medical related programmes and other programmes as may be approved by the Government and to collect repayment for all loans issued to students since 1994, so as to make the scheme successful and sustainable.

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