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New student loans announced

ChilNet extract from El Mercurio, La Epoca
26 February 1997

The government will give US$10 million to private banks to be used as student loans, announced the Education Minister Jose Pablo Arellano Tuesday. The government's loan to the banks, at a five percent interest rate, will allow Chilean students to access up to US$5,000 annually.

The system, which will begin this year, will be directed initially to students who have already completed at least one year of higher education. The existing system of loans and scholarships provided by the ministry is aimed at students just beginning their university studies. "It's important that the tuition fees do not become a mechanism of exclusion," said Arellano.

Indebted students will have a 15-year term, with a two-year period of grace, to pay back their loans after completing their studies.

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