What are the eligibility criteria for financial assistance for primary and secondary students ? How to apply?Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency
- The School Textbook Assistance (TA) Scheme
- The Student Travel Subsidy (STS) Scheme
- The Subsidy Scheme for Internet Access Charges (SIA)
- Application Procedures of Financial Assistance in 2023/24 for Primary and Secondary Students
The Student Finance Office (SFO) administers a number of financial assistance schemes for needy primary and secondary students, including the School Textbook Assistance Scheme, the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme and the Subsidy Scheme for Internet Access Charges. Applicants must pass the means test (please click here for details) and meet the following eligibility criteria:
- A student-applicant must:
- be an unmarried Hong Kong Resident;
- have the right of abode, right to land or valid permission to remain without any condition of stay (other than the limit of stay) in Hong Kong; and
- attend a school belonging to one of the categories of schools as stipulated in the individual financial assistance schemes.
- Students holding visitor visas, two-way exit permits, student visas only or who are dependents of student-visa / visitor-visa holders are not eligible to apply for student financial assistance.
- Applicant must be the parent or guardian (as recognized under Guardianship of Minors Ordinance, Cap 13) of the student-applicant(s). Otherwise, applicant must explain in detail with proof why this cannot be complied with in the application form. Provided that the reason given is acceptable, the SFO will continue to process the application.
- Generally speaking, if families currently in receipt of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) have children studying in primary and secondary schools, they should apply direct to the Social Welfare Department (SWD) for school-related assistance for their children’s examination fees, expenses on textbook and stationery, transport fares, Internet access charges at home, etc. They do not need to submit “Household Application Form for Student Financial Assistance Schemes” to the SFO.
The School Textbook Assistance (TA) Scheme
The student-applicants must be Primary 1 to Senior Secondary 3 / Secondary 6 students in government, aided, per caput grant schools and local schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme for covering the costs of essential textbooks and miscellaneous school-related expenses.
The Student Travel Subsidy (STS) Scheme
The student-applicants must be receiving primary or secondary education or attending a full-time day course up to first degree level in an acceptable institution, residing beyond 10 minutes walking distance from school and traveling to school by public transport.
The Subsidy Scheme for Internet Access Charges (SIA)
The Subsidy Scheme for Internet Access Charges (SIA) provides subsidy to needy families whose children are full-time students receiving education at primary or secondary level, or full-time students pursuing Diploma Yi Jin (DYJ) (known as Yi Jin Diploma (YJD) before 2016) programmes or equivalent courses of the Vocational Training Council (VTC) to meet the internet access charges for e-learning at home for their children (for example, the charges on broadband Internet service or SIM cards provided by operators of fixed or mobile telecommunications services). The subsidy is granted on a household basis. Eligible families will receive a family-based flat-rate cash grant, regardless of the number of children in the family.
Application Procedures of Financial Assistance in 2023/24 for Primary and Secondary Students
(1) Applicable to Continuing Applicants
(i.e. applicants who have successfully applied for financial assistance in the 2022/23 school year on or before 1 March 2023 for (i) primary and secondary students or (ii) students at pre-primary, primary and secondary levels or (iii) pre-primary students who will be attending Primary 1 (P1) in the 2023/24 school year)
Starting from mid-March 2023, the SFO will issue Access Code and/ or paper-based pre-printed “Household Application Form for Student Financial Assistance Schemes” (Paper-based Pre-printed Form) to continuing applicants in batches according to their option indicated in the 2022/23 application. Continuing applicants may –
1) E-submission - Access the “Pre-filled E-Form” tab in the “SFO E-link – My Applications (Financial Assistance Schemes at Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Levels) ” website, and use “iAM Smart+” (Note) or enter the Access Code and required information to open the E-Form which has been prefilled with their application details (Pre-filled E-Form). Continuing applicants may then complete the Pre-filled E-Form, upload relevant supporting documents and submit the application online; or
2) Complete and submit the Paper-based Pre-printed Form issued by the SFO, together with copies of relevant supporting documents, to Tsimshatsui PO Box 96824 by post.
(Note: For more details on the registration of ”iAM Smart+”, please visit the “iAM Smart” website .)
(2) Applicable to Other Applicants
(i.e. new applicants and applicants who have NOT received financial assistance for primary and secondary students in the 2022/23 school year on or before 1 March 2023)
Starting from May 2023, other applicants may –
1) E-submission - Access the “E-Form” tab in the “SFO E-link – My Applications (Financial Assistance Schemes at Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Levels)” website to complete and submit E-Form direct; or
2) Complete and submit the paper-based Household Application Form for Student Financial Assistance Schemes, together with copies of relevant supporting documents, to Tsimshatsui PO Box 96824 by post. The related application form and documents will be uploaded to the SFO E-link / SFO webpage.
For details and application processing time table, please click here.