Government Schemes

Full time local students taking UGC-funded courses are eligible to apply to the Government Student Finance Office (SFO) for financial aid. Assistance is offered through the following schemes. The Government schemes are the main source of financial assistance to most students. If you need financial aid, it is essential that you apply for the assistance under these schemes.

Tertiary Student Finance Scheme (TSFS)

The scheme aims to provide means-tested financial assistance to eligible full-time local students studying in the tertiary institutions.

To be eligible for application, a student needs to:

  • be a registered full-time student taking up an exclusively UGC/publicly-funded student place at a recognized intuition; and

  • have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) or have resided in Hong Kong continuously for 3 complete years prior to the commencement of the course.‚Äč

Interested students have to apply on-line. Means-tested assessment on income and family asset will be conducted for each application. The level of financial assistance depends on the financial condition of the family. As postgraduate studentships would be counted as the income for the means-tested assessment, financial assistance amount for successful applicants will be affected accordingly.

The offer will be in the form of grant and low interest rate loan. Grant is for tuition fee and the academic expenses while loan is for living expenses. The maximum grant for an undergraduate is equal to the tuition fee payable to the recognized institution and the academic expenses for his/her course of study plus the other compulsory fees. The maximum loan for living expenses is $58,890 for 2024/25. The interest will be charged from the commencement date of the loan repayment period.



Non-means Tested Loan Scheme (NLSFT)

The scheme is to supplement the TSFS to provide financial assistance in the form of loan to eligible students to settle tuition fees. Hence, RPGs who are receiving HKSAR RPG Tuition Waiver can only apply TSFS (details as in the above).


Loan is offered at a cost recovery interest rate. Income and asset assessment is not required. The amount offered is related to the grant and loan a student receives if student has applied for TSFS at the same year. The maximum loan offered would cover the student’s tuition fee.


Students are required to pay a non-refundable administrative fee for the application.


The NLSFT loan will be paid direct to student’s institution by 2 installments to settle the tuition fees. Interest shall be charged once the loan is drawn down and throughout the study period until the loan is repaid in full.


Students have to apply TSFS and NLSFT applications through “SFO E-link – My Applications” platform ( Paper submission is normally not be accepted.


Additional Academic Expenses Grant for Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

This is a scheme enhancing the academic expenses grant for students with special educational needs (SEN) and financial needs which has been implemented under the Community Care Fund programme starting from 2015/16.

Students, who have passed the means-test of TSFS and confirmed to have one kind of SENs, are eligible to apply. In 2024/25, each eligible student will be offered an additional academic expenses grant of up to $9,850 a year. For details, please visit SFO's website.

To know more about SEN support offered by HKUST, please click into the University's designated website on supporting students with SEN.