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Tertiary Student Finance Scheme - Publicly-funded Programmes (TSFS)


資助專上課程學生資助計劃 

 

 

Important Notice  

1.    Community Care Fund (CCF) Assistance Programme - Providing Hostel Subsidy for Needy Undergraduate Students

 

 

At its meeting on 9 April 2019, the Commission on Poverty approved that the Community Care Fund programme, namely the hostel subsidy for needy undergraduates, be extended for two academic years till 2020/21 along its existing parameters. 

In the 2019/20 academic year, the maximum rate of the hostel subsidy is $9,430 a year.  The subsidy is to be disbursed on a semester basis. The actual amount of subsidy receivable by each eligible undergraduate is to be determined with respect to the student’s level of assistance assessed in the means test. The basis for determining the subsidy payable will be the actual hostel fee payable (after deducting any other hostel subsidies or waivers) or $9,430 per year / $4,715 per semester, whichever is lower.

For more information, please visit: https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/postsecondary/ccf/hs/overview.htm

     
2.   Community Care Fund (CCF) Assistance Programme - Enhancing the academic expenses grant for students with special educational needs pursuing post-secondary programmes 

 

 

The Commission on Poverty approved on 27 March 2015 the allocation of funds from the Community Care Fund (CCF) for enhancing the academic expenses (AE) grant for post-secondary students with special educational needs (SEN) and financial needs in order to strengthen the support for these students from 2015/16 to 2017/18.  At its meeting held on 21 June 2018, the CoP agreed to extend the programme for three academic years from 2018/19 till 2020/21. The programme will continue to operate on its existing parameters.

Eligible student is required to submit the completed request form with supporting document to the Student Finance Office (SFO) by 31 Dec 2019. Each eligible student will be offered an additional AE grant of up to HK$8,910 in 2019/20 academic year. The actual amount of subsidy receivable is to be determined with respect to the student’s level of assistance assessed in the means test of the Student Finance Office (SFO).

For more information, please visit: https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/postsecondary/ccf/sen/overview.htm.

     
3.   Working Family Allowance Scheme (WFA)

 

 

The Working Family Allowance Scheme is a government assistance scheme that supports the low-income working families, particularly those with children, with a view to encouraging self-reliance and easing inter-generational poverty.  Under the Scheme, a household (including singleton households) meeting the hour requirements, income and asset limits may apply for a Basic Allowance, Medium Allowance or Higher Allowance. Each eligible child (aged below 15 or, aged between 15 and 21 receiving full-time education but not post-secondary education) may also be eligible for a Child Allowance. 

For more information of the Scheme, please visit the Working Family Allowance Office’s website at https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/wfao/en/index.htm.

     
4.   Expediting the processing of applications from post-secondary students whose families are in receipt of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA)

 

 

In order to simplify the steps of completing the application for Tertiary Student Finance Scheme - Publicly-funded programmes (TSFS), student of families in receipt of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) as below (i) or (ii) are not required to input the income and assets information of his/her family in the simplified application form for CSSA family :

(i)   he/she or his/her parents/spouse received CSSA for the whole assessment period from 1.4.2018 to 31.3.2019, OR
(ii)   he/she or his/her parents/spouse are currently receiving CSSA.  

The SFO may contact the applicant if supplementary information/documents are required.  For more details, you may refer to https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/pdf/common/news/cssa_eng.pdf.

   
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Eligibility 

(1) You (Eligible PolyU student) may be eligible for applying the TSFS if:
  (a) you are registered as a full-time student taking up an exclusively government-funded student place of one of the PolyU government-funded programmes* in the 2019/20 academic year;
  and
  b) you have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) or have resided or have had your home in Hong Kong continuously for 3 complete years prior to the commencement of the course**.

(Remarks: This does not cover students holding –

  • student visas/entry permits;
  • visas /entry permits under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates; or
  • dependant visas/entry permits which were issued to them by the Director of Immigration when they were 18 years old or above.)

**If you do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong (without the alphabet "A" beneath the Date of Birth field of the Hong Kong Identity Card), you should also provide a copy of your entry permits to Hong Kong, e.g. one-way permit/dependant visa, etc., with your applications.

(2) Your eligibility is restricted to only one eligible full-time course in any one particular academic year. 
(3) If you are eligible to apply for assistance under the TSFS in the 2019/20 academic year, you may also apply for subsidy under the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme (STS). Please refer to Appendix II of Part III of TSFS Guidance Notes for more details.
(4) If you are eligible to apply for assistance under the TSFS in the 2019/20 academic year, you are also eligible to apply for loan under the Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Full-time Tertiary Students (NLSFT). The NLSFT provides non-means-tested loan to eligible students to settle their tuition fee payable. The maximum level of loan amount is equal to the tuition fees payable for the academic year. For details of the NLSFT, please refer to NLSFT Application Guidance Notes.
(5) If you are going to join an overseas exchange programme in the 2019/20 academic year, you are still eligible for applying for assistance under the TSFS provided that you are still a recognized PolyU full-time UGC-funded or publicly-funded student paying tuition fee to PolyU.
(6) If you have any arrears of grant and/or loan and/or student travel subsidy under any financial assistance/loan schemes administered by the government Student Finance Office (SFO), your application for financial assistance / loan will be considered by the Controller, SFO on individual merits.
* Remarks
  (i) Normally, you are required to pay a flat annual tuition fee of HK$31,575 (for Higher Diploma students) or HK$42,100 (for Bachelor Degree students).
  (ii) If there is change of your student status, you may no longer be eligible for the assistance under the TSFS and STS. Upon the change is confirmed, you should immediately notify the Student Finance Office (SFO) in writing and be prepared for the repayment of the overpaid assistance, if any.

 
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Details and Enquiries

For details of the TSFS, please visit Student Finance Office (SFO) of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA)
homepage at https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/postsecondary/tsfs/overview.htm.

 SFO YouTube Channel for introduction of TSFS 

For enquiries (e.g. check progress of your application), you may wish to contact the government SFO:

Address : 11/F., Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon (near Exit C1 of Shamshuipo MTR station)

Office hours : Mon - Fri  8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.; except public holidays

24-hour automated enquiry hotline : 2802 2345

TSFS enquiry number during office hours : 2152 9000

TSFS fax number : 2519 8512

E-mail address : wg_sfo@wfsfaa.gov.hk

 
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Calculation of Financial Assistance

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for a grant and/or loan ranged from 0% to 100% of the maximum grant/loan.

The maximum grant for PolyU students is derived from the tuition fee and academic expenses. It thus varies according to the course of studies pursued. On the other hand, the maximum loan is the same for all students and is intended to help towards students' living expenses.

As to what percentage of the maximum grant/loan an applicant may obtain, it is calculated according to a two-tier means-testing mechanism.

In the first tier (i.e. the income test), an Adjusted Family Income (AFI) is derived for the applicant by the following formula:

        Gross annual income of the family 
AFI  ------------------------------------------------------------- 
           Number of family members + 1

(For single-parent families of 2 to 3 members, the "plus 1 factor" will be increased to 2)

The AFI will then be applied to a Ready Reckoner that sets out the percentage of the maximum amount of grant/loan in relation to each AFI group.

The amount of grant/loan derived from the income test will then be subject to the second tier asset test (i.e. the asset test), which involves an adjustment in accordance with the Asset Sliding Scale

If you wish to obtain a rough estimate of the amount of assistance that you may receive, you may use the "Financial Calculator" on the "SFO E-link" for reference.

Step 1

Step 2

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2019/20 PolyU Programmes under the TSFS

All the full-time government-funded PolyU programmes covered under the TSFS 2019/20 are stated on the Course Coding Sheet. You should check your course information stated on it for completion of Step 3, School Information, of the application form.

 
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2019/20 Grant and Loan Entitlement for PolyU Students

For PolyU students, the level of grant and loan is calculated depending on the family's financial circumstances of the student's family (basically it is subject to student's Adjusted Family Income (AFI) and family asset level), the tuition fees payable and the discipline the student is studying. You may refer to the Maximum Grant and Loan Levels for PolyU students in 2019/20 for reference.

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Briefing Sessions for New Students

If you want to have an idea about financial assistance schemes applicable to you, you are welcome to join one of the following briefing sessions on financial assistance schemes conducted by PolyU Centre STARS. In each session, staff member of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) will also present you a 15-minute talk on Smart Use of Credit Cards.

Class POSS Programme Code Date Time Venue Language
A SS-SF-SAO-SSA-U1-A 16 Aug 2019 (Fri)* 2:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. Room TU103
(Wong's International Lecture Theatre)
Cantonese**
B SS-SF-SAO-SSA-U1-B 21 Aug 2019 (Wed)* 2:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
C SS-SF-SAO-SSA-U1-C 22 Aug 2019 (Thu)* 10:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
D SS-SF-SAO-SSA-U1-D 22 Aug 2019 (Thu)* 2:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
E SS-SF-SAO-SSA-U1-E 27 Aug 2019 (Tue)* 6:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Room TU201 
(Cheung On Tak Lecture Theatre)

* When the Hong Kong Observatory announces that the Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No.8 or above/Black Rainstorm Warning is likely to be hoisted/issued OR when the Signal/Warning is still hoisted/issued within 2 hours from the commencement of the briefing session, the briefing session will be cancelled.

** If you want to get information about financial assistance in English, you may send an email with your contact information to stars.fa@polyu.edu.hk for arrangement. 

Enrollment

In view of limited seats, you must register to reserve a seat via the PolyU Online Student Services (POSS) at http://www.polyu.edu.hk/stars/fa/activity.html.   

For enquiry, please call 3400 3764.

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Submitting Application for 2019/20

Starting from 1 April 2019, eligible applicants can submit electronic application for the 2019/20 “Tertiary Student Finance Scheme – Publicly-funded Programmes (TSFS)” via the online platform “SFO E-link – My Applications” (ess.wfsfaa.gov.hk). Online demonstration and related documents can also be found on this platform.

Guidance Notes and documents related to the TSFS can also be downloaded from the SFO webpage: https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/postsecondary/tsfs/application/forms.htm.

(1)

For local full-time government-funded students admitted in 2018/19 or before

  The normal application period is over. However, you can consider submitting late application.
 
Late submission after the official deadline
 

If you have acceptable reason(s), you can try to submit late application via "SFO E-link - My applications" (ess.wfsfaa.gov.hk) as soon as possible.  However, late application may lead to late release of entitled assistance, if any, Also, SFO will accord priority to those applications with complete information submitted on or before the deadline.

After submitting online application form, you must submit the signed declaration and the required supporting documents to the SFO within 7 days.

(2)

For new local full-time government-funded students admitted in 2019/20

 

Official Deadline for New Students : 23 September 2019 (Monday).

You can submit online application via "SFO E-link - My applications" (ess.wfsfaa.gov.hk). After submitting online application form, you must submit the signed declaration and the required supporting documents to the SFO within 7 days. 

Late submission after the official deadline

If you have acceptable reason(s), you can try to submit late application via "SFO E-link - My applications" (ess.wfsfaa.gov.hk) as soon as possible.  However, late application may lead to late release of entitled assistance, if any, Also, SFO will accord priority to those applications with complete information submitted on or before the deadline.

 
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Submitting Required Document for 2019/20

After submitting online application form, you must submit the signed declaration and required supporting documents within 7 days by one of the following methods:

1. online upload via “SFO E-link – My Applications” - ess.wfsfaa.gov.hk  (File in PDF or JPEG format, max capacity 20 MB - about 50 pages of A4 paper in black and while.  If you have more than 50 pages of documents, instead of uploading the documents partially, you are encouraged to adopt other means to submit the documents in one go.); or
2. by post or by hand to gov't SFO Office - 12/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon (Attn: Applications Team (TSFS)
(Underpaid mail items will not be accepted. If you submit your supplementary information by post, please ensure sufficient postage is paid and provide a return address on the back of the envelope. Otherwise, your mail may not be delivered to the SFO. For details and calculation of postage rates, please visit the Hong Kong Post’s website: http://www.hongkongpost.hk/eng/postage/index.htm).
3. by hand to the government SFO drop-in box at PolyU Centre STARS (Room QT308, 3/F, Core T) between 9 September and 21 October 2019 (Collection time: Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.; except public holidays).

  
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Reminder

In case there is / are supporting document(s) not yet available, you must fully state in Step 12 “Additional Information”. Once the said document(s) is / are available, you must take the initiative to submit it / them immediately to the SFO by fax / mail / in person.
  Please note that at the time of submitting application, if you fail to report / attach the required information / supporting documents in / to your application, and the information / supporting document is only reported / provided upon SFO’s enquiry, this would be treated as a misrepresentation and / or omission in your application.  Therefore, you have the responsibility to complete your application form in full details and submit all supporting documents. Any misrepresentation or omission may lead to rejection of your application(s) and / or full recovery of financial assistance already offered. You and your family members may also be prosecuted.

Reference:
(1) "The Checklist on Documentary Proofs Required" (TSFS/RM 2019) 
(2) "Importance of Providing True and Complete Information" (TSFS/OM 2019)

 

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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Extracted from 2019/20 Guidance Notes pages 98-105 (Part III - Appendix IX)

 
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General Enquiries

For assistance from the Centre STARS, please contact:  Room QT308, 3/F (Entrance at Core T)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Tel.: 3400 3764
Email: stars.fa@polyu.edu.hk

      

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