Bursary Programme FAQ

General Information for Candidates

Candidates for the award of a national bursary offered by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT) must:

  • be a Citizen of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and must be able to provide proof of citizenship;
  • not have residency status in any other country;
  • attained at least eight (8) units at Grades I and II, over a period not exceeding two (2) consecutive years in Form 6, including the year of the award, at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE);
  • provide evidence of acceptance or letter of acceptance/proof of enrolment from an accredited/recognised tertiary level local institution or a regional campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in keeping with the guidelines of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme;
  • provide evidence of completion of GATE’s Means Test;
  • provide evidence of extracurricular activities/contribution to community/country;
  • demonstrate alignment to the interim development needs list or to the new and emerging human resource needs of the country; and
  • prepare a purpose statement demonstrating how the programme of study will likely impact the developmental needs of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • A Letter of Acceptance/Proof of Enrolment/Proof of Application to an accredited/ recognized local tertiary level institution or a regional campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI), in keeping with the guidelines of the GATE program.
  • An Official Statement of Recognition from the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT), attesting to the accreditation and/or recognition of both the academic institution and the programme of study.
  • A signed and stamped letter of verification from a Registered Community-Based Organization (CBO), Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Sporting and Extracurricular Activity Organization attesting to the recipient’s involvement in Extra-Curricular Activities/Contribution to Community/Country.
  • Proof of the applicant’s socio-economic background as evidenced by the GATE administered Means Test which must be signed by the Applicant and his/her Parent/Guardian.
  • Two (2) recommendations to be submitted online:
    • One recommendation must be an academic reference.

(Please note that recommendations must be signed, scanned and uploaded to the online application form).

  • A Purpose Statement of no more than 500 words which explains:
    • Description of a national developmental need, in relation to the goals and objectives of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030. The need should be one which already exists.
    • Description of the programme of study you have chosen that deals significantly with the need identified.
    • Description of how exposure to the selected programme of study will equip you to meet the identified national need.

An applicant may receive additional funding from another institution NGO or PPE and still be able to apply or be eligible for a national bursary provided that there is no obligation that the applicant has to fulfil at the end of the programme of study by such institutions.

The National Bursary Agreement (NBA) – is a loan agreement (“the agreement”) between you (“the recipient”), the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education acting for and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (“the Lender”) and the (“guarantor”) the person who assumes a legal obligation to the lender to repay any and all monies owed by the recipient to the lender as a result of your breach of this Agreement.

General Information for Bursary Recipients

The following documents are required after an applicant has been selected for the award of the National Bursary:

  • One (1) valid form of identification (National Identification Card, Driver’s Permit or Passport)
  • The new polymer birth certificate
  • Proof of address (such as a recent utility bill, or bank statement). If the proof of address is under another name other than that of the recipient, an authorization letter is required stating that the recipient lives at the address provided.
  • A Status/Enrollment Letter from the academic institution in which the recipient is enrolled.
  • A Medical Certificate of Health from a Registered Medical Practitioner affixed with the doctor’s signature and stamp.
  • Guarantor’s Job Letter or Statement of Business Registration if self-employed.
  • A Valid Form of Identification for the Guarantor
  • A Utility Bill for the Guarantor
  • A Bank Statement for the Guarantor
  • A Completed Bank Information Form
  • A Letter of Declaration for the Guarantor (to indicate that the Guarantor is also a resident of Trinidad and Tobago)

The guarantor is a person who assumes a legal obligation to the Lender to repay any and all monies owed together with all interest accrued at the rate of 7.5% in the instance that the candidate breaches the Agreement and/or is unwilling to serve his/her obligation.

Yes. A guarantor may be self-employed but must provide registration of his/her business and sufficient evidence for the repayment of the National Bursary Agreement in the event that the candidate breaches the Agreement and is required to repay.

Yes. The recipient must immediately inform the Ministry and nominate a new guarantor within three (3) months.

  • Recipients must complete their programme of study within the least possible time as stipulated by the academic institution.
  • Recipients are expected to reside in the approved country of study throughout the duration of their programme of study.
  • Recipients are required to maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 per academic year or equivalent for the continuation of payments.
  • Recipients are required to inform the Ministry of any changes to their National Bursary Agreement.
  • Under the terms of the Agreement, recipients shall be required to serve a period of obligatory service upon completion of the programme of study, such period to be determined by the amount of funds expended.

Approval may be considered to delay accessing the award of the national bursary for a period not exceeding one (1) year if at least one (1) of the following conditions applies:

  • the recipient is medically unfit to take up such award as evidenced by medical reports which includes a prognosis for recovery from a registered medical practitioner. The Ministry reserves the right to seek the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health; and
  • other extenuating circumstances which will be considered on a case by case basis by the Permanent Secretary.

The bursary will comprise of the following payments:

  • Medical scholars – A book allowance of $9,711 as first time payment and thereafter $5,711 payment annually.
  • Non medical – A book allowance of $8,062 as first time payment and thereafter $4,062 payment annually.
  • A Personal Maintenance Allowance of $3,043.00 per month, payable per quarter of the fiscal year (Dec, March, June and September)
  • 100% GATE funding for study at local institutions.

If payments were already made on your behalf to the academic institution, you (the recipient of the National Bursary) can be reimbursed subject to the Agreement.

Yes, you may be allowed to change your programme of study no more than once during the programme of study.
Requirements:

  • Signed written request by the recipient;
  • Status letter from the University approving the change of programme of study;
  • Completed Application for request to change programme of study Form;
  • A letter attesting that the programme of study is accredited or recognized by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Guarantor Consent Form; and
  • Most recent transcript verifying the GPA requirements.

 

Yes, you may be allowed to change your academic institution no more than once during the programme of study.
Requirements:

  • Signed written request by the recipient;
  • Status letter from the University approving withdrawal from current academic institution;
  • Completed Application for request to change academic institution Form;
  • Status letter confirming that you are a registered student at new academic institution;
  • A letter attesting that the academic institution is accredited or recognised by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Guarantor Consent Form; and
  • Most recent transcript verifying the GPA requirements

 

Yes, approval can be granted for a temporary leave of absence providing that you have meet at least one of following circumstances within the policy;
Requirements:

  • Signed written request;
  • Status letter from the University approving period of leave of absence;
  • Completed Application for request for leave of absence Form;
  • Guarantor Consent Form; and
  • Most recent transcript verifying the GPA requirements

All request must be addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Scholarships and Advanced Training Division.

Failure to maintain the GPA of 2.5 will result in the suspension of the funding for the National Bursary until your academic performance has been improved i.e.by evidence of a transcript. In addition, failure to improve the required GPA of 2.5 will result in the cancellation of the national bursary and the recipient will be required to repay the amount of the funds expended together with interest accrued on the National Bursary.

Recipients will be required to upload/submit to the Ministry a copy of their status letter and academic transcripts at the end of each academic year

Cost of Scholarship Period of Obligatory Service
Up to $100,000 One (1) year
Over $100,000 and up to $300,000 Two (2) years
Over $300,000 and up to $400,00 Three (3) years
Over $400,000 and up to $600,000 Four (4) years
Over $600,000 Five (5) years

Table of obligatory Service in respect to national bursary funding.

No, upon completion of studies you can serve within both public and private sectors within Trinidad and Tobago.

Where the recipient breaches the Agreement, the Ministry will take appropriate legal action to recover all funds expended together with ALL interest calculated at the rate of 7.75% per centum per annum, calculated from the first month of the first installment of the bursary which was paid to or on behalf of the recipient and thereafter on outstanding monthly balances thereof.

Yes, there are three options available for the repayment of the bursary

(A) repay in full;
(B) repay an initial lump sum and the balance outstanding via repayment agreement within a period equivalent to the prescribed obligatory period; and
(C) repay the full amount via repayment agreement within a period equivalent to the prescribed obligatory period

Options (B). and (C) are subject to interest calculated at the rate of 7.75% per annum for the duration of the repayment period.

Yes, and whatever funds expended must be repaid together with ALL interest accrued.

This option can only be facilitated if the recipient request to withdraw/terminate the signed NBA. All other request for calculation will only be processed upon completion of the programme of study.