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No, Kenya’s higher education loans agency hasn’t started accepting applications for 2023/24 academic year

IN SHORT: Posts claiming that the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) portal has opened for first-year university students in Kenya are false and could lead to some being defrauded.

First-year university students in Kenya can now apply for tuition loans online, according to posts published on Facebook and Twitter.

The posts share a link that leads to an article headlined: “HELB Portal Opens For First Years Undergraduate Application 2023/2024.”

HELB, or the Higher Education Loans Board, is a government agency that finances Kenyans looking to further their studies. For many needy students, this funding is crucial, hence the application season is eagerly anticipated.

The article also lists a number of conditions for loan applications.

But is the portal genuine?


‘Ignore fake alerts by fraudsters’

We could not find any information about the opening of a portal for first-year students on the official website of the loans board.

HELB has denied this on its official Facebook account.

A post from the agency, dated 10 July 2023, reads: “Beware of fake news. Always get reliable information from our official channels: Facebook (@HELBPage), Twitter (@HELBpage) ,email; [email protected] or call 0711 052 000.”

On 12 July, HELB said: “Wadau, shughuli bado haijaanza! Ignore the fake alerts by fraudsters. We will inform you when we open for HELB First Time & Subsequent loan applications. #KaaChonjo.”

The Kiswahili translates to: “People, the process hasn’t begun yet! Ignore the fake alerts from fraudsters. We will inform you when we open for HELB First Time & Subsequent loan applications. #StayAlert."

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