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Alternative Options to Student Loans

HomeAlternative Options to Student Loans

Interim measures for prospective students to consider whilst the Sharī‘ah model is being introduced 

September 2012 heralds a near three fold increase in tuition fees at many universities leaving Muslims facing a very difficult dilemma in their attempts to pursue a university education without succumbing to interest based finance.

Please click here for the Al-Qalam Sharī‘ah position on using conventional finance.

However the situation is not wholly impossible, and we would urge students to fully explore the options below, listed in order of priority:

1. Many universities are offering ‘fee waivers’ which effectively allow fees to be frozen at 2011 rates for eligible students. Please contact the university you are applying to and ask if they are prepared to offer this given your scriptural aversion to interest-based finance. Universities will be more inclined to offer waivers to low income groups, which a disproportionately large number of Muslim students hail from.

2. Check what bursaries, grants and other funding sources are available by clicking here and here. Please note an annual maintenance grant (not loan) of £3,250 is available to those who annual family income is less than £25,000. This should cover the fees of those offered a waiver as per point 1 above.

3. Explore grants available from charitable institutions and foundations. Click here, here and here for Muslim charities providing scholarships to British students.

4. Work full-time, ideally in a job relevant to your future career, and use the income generated to fund part-time study.

5. Take a “Gap Year”, and spend the time earning money to fund future tuition fees.                                                                                  

The above evidences the need for the SLC to speedily offer a Sharī‘ah-compliant alternative.

We urge all affected students and their families, to join our campaign in lobbying for the same.