The Higher Education Council (HEC) has confirmed that a substantial number of students who applied to study at the University of Rwanda have been deemed eligible for scholarship loans. Out of the 7,393 applicants, a total of 5,794 students, accounting for 79 percent of all applicants, have met the criteria for scholarship consideration. HEC announced that students who applied for scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year should check their eligibility for the loan. ALSO READ: BRD embarks on fresh measures to boost student loan repayment Among the applicants, 7,315 students graduated from high school in the current academic year, with 6,630 of them applying for scholarships. Interestingly, all 4,430 students who expressed an interest in STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) were granted scholarships. However, the situation differed for students desiring to pursue non-STEM courses. Aime Mucyo, one of the high school graduates who applied for a non-STEM course at the University of Rwanda, expressed disappointment after not being granted a scholarship. He claimed that several of his colleagues had encountered the same issue. Olivier Irasubiza, another high school graduate, faced a different challenge with his scholarship application. Despite being admitted and having an average score of 86 percent, the system indicated that his registration number could not be found. This issue perplexed him as he believed he had followed the application process correctly. ALSO READ: Student loan defaulters to face penalties Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of HEC told The New Times that the scholarship criteria were based on a combination of the student's score in the national exam (accounting for 50 percent) and their intended field of study (also accounting for 50 percent). HEC accepted students based on a score of 70 percent, considering both academic performance and the chosen field. In the scholarship allocation process, STEM courses were granted a special status due to their significance in the National Strategy for Transformation. The government recognizes the importance of elevating the status of students pursuing fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She clarified that while HEC is responsible for implementing the scholarship program, addressing this issue would be better suited at the policy level. For students unsatisfied with the scholarship results, there is an appeals process available. Appeals can be filed at the HEC headquarters in Remera from May 29 to June 7. ALSO READ: Inside Rwf760 billion education budget A dedicated team will handle students' concerns during this period. It is important for students to refer to the selection criteria available on the HEC website for more information, she said. It is worth noting that any student who has been awarded a scholarship but wishes to change what they will major in at University may risk losing the scholarship and being responsible for funding their education independently. HEC encourages students to carefully review the available announcements and selection criteria posted on their website to ensure they have a clear understanding of the scholarship process and requirements.