From 1st January 2019, the University of Silesia has a new system of student loans. The changes were implemented after the enactment of the Act of 20th July 2018 – Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws, item 1668, as amended) and the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 20th December 2018 on student loans (Journal of Laws, item 2468).
The new system of student loans allows – as it was before – granting a loan for the period of studies and starting loan repayment 2 years after graduation, on convenient terms, with the lowest possible interest rate.
Both students and doctoral students attending doctoral schools will be able to apply for the loan. Until the end of doctoral studies commenced before the academic year 2019/2020 (i.e. until 2023), the participants of these studies retain the right to apply for the loan.
- the age limit for granting a loan to a student was increased to 30; for doctoral students – 35; under previous regulations a loan was available to students or doctoral students who had entered higher education before the age of 25;
- savings and credit cooperatives were incorporated into the student loan scheme; these institutions, alongside commercial banks, will provide student loans;
- now student loans may be obtained at any time during university studies or doctoral school and applications are examined within 30 days from the date of their submission; before, applications were submitted between 15th July and 20th October and the application was examined until 31st December;
- the application for student loan was also made available through an electronic banking system of a given loan institution; until now, the application could only be submitted in printed form;
- a new method of calculating per capita income in the applicant’s family was introduced, which is analogous to the method applied in the case of applications for a social allowance at the University; so far these calculation methods have been different;
- loan granting procedure in now more flexible – some issues, e.g., annexing the agreement or determining the beginning of loan repayment are to be regulated directly in the loan agreement; until now, the procedures for loan drawdown and repayment were specified in relevant regulations.
All agreements concluded by the end of 2018 remain in force, yet as of 1st January 2019 they will be governed by the provisions of the new Act on Higher Education and Science.
A student loan may be granted to:
- a student under 30 years of age,
- a doctoral student under 35 years of age.
An application for the loan may also be submitted by a person applying for admission to the University or doctoral school. Before signing the loan agreement, such a person must submit to a loan institution a certificate confirming that he/she is a student or a doctoral student.
You can apply for a loan all year round.
Applications are processed within 30 days from the date of their submission. An application for loan may be submitted in paper form or by means of an ICT system to the following institutions:
- PKO Bank Polski S.A;
- Bank PEKAO SA;
- Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości SA (together with the associated cooperative banks);
- SGB-Bank SA (together with the associated cooperative banks).
The following documents need to be appended to a loan application:
- statement of the applicant’s income and number of the applicant’s family members in the previous year;
- certificate from a higher education institution confirming that the applicant is a student or a doctoral student, or a document confirming participation in the recruitment process for university studies or doctoral school;
- documents required by a lending institution for the purposes of assessing borrower’s creditworthiness and thus securing loan repayments.
In the application, the borrower should mark one of the available loan amounts of his choice. The monthly tranche of the student loan may amount to PLN 400, 600, 800 or 1000.
The basic condition for concluding a loan agreement is meeting the income criterion. In the academic year 2018/2019, the maximum income per family member entitling to obtain a loan is PLN 2500 (net amount).
Student loans may be granted for the period of 6 years, and in the case of doctoral students – for the period of 4 years. Tranches of a loan are being paid out throughout the period of 10 months per year.
Repayment of the student loan is made in equal monthly instalments and starts two years after graduation. The number of instalments equals twice the number of tranches of the loan paid out to a student.
At the borrower’s request, the student loan may be cancelled by the lending institution on the following conditions:
- 50% of the loan – if the borrower has completed university or doctoral studies in a group of up to 1%…
- 35% of the loan – if the borrower has completed university studies or doctoral school in the group from 1.01% to 5%…
- 20% of the loan – if the borrower has completed studies or education in a doctoral school in the group from 5.01% to 10%…
…of the best graduates of the 1st cycle, 2nd cycle, long-cycle programmes or doctoral schools, in a given academic year.
An application in this matter should be submitted to a lending institution, together with a certificate confirming the borrower’s place in a particular group of the best graduates of a given programme or doctoral school.
Certificates required for the purposes of loan write-off are issued to the graduates of the University of Silesia who have received student loans by the Office of Student Social Affairs [Biuro Studenckich Spraw Socjalnych].
The loan may also be cancelled in part or in full in the event of a particularly difficult life situation of the borrower or a permanent loss of the borrower’s ability to repay his/her obligations. In such situations the decision concerning loan write-off is made by the minister in charge of higher education upon the request of the borrower.