TEN students have officially withdrawn from the National Toppers Scholarship scheme since last week because they would prefer taking up the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.
Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board co-co-ordinator Renuka Singh said if students wanted to take up whatever sectors were on the government priority list, they would be able to take the TELS loans, otherwise they would have to study privately.
"This is particularly so for students who had applied to pursue a degree in commerce majoring in accounting and economics and did not make the cut-off of the best 20 students," Ms Singh said.
"We are trying to counsel the students because they had three choices. If the first choice was accounting, and the second for hotel management, we'd ask them whether they want to take up hotel management instead or BEd in secondary and take double majors in math/history, land management and project management.
"We have got about 10 students whom we have emailed and based on their telephone conversations they would not opt for other fields but go for TELS."
Ms Singh said the toppers scholarship offers were based on a priority list set out by the government, and marks acquired in the external Form 7 exam or foundation studies.
She said the toppers hadn't been confirmed because they were still deliberating.