Brazil to extend college loan program this year
SAO PAULO, June 9 (Reuters) - Brazil will offer a second round of its marquee college loan program this year, extending more resources to education despite budget cuts that have hit much of the federal budget.
Education Minister Renato Ribeiro Janine confirmed the second round of financing for the student loan program known as Fies in a Facebook post late on Monday. He said the loans would give priority to teachers in training, engineers and health professionals.
"We weren't sure until now, but we just found out that there will be a second round of Fies this year. We still don't know how many loans will be available," Janine said in an interview on TV program Roda Viva.
In early May, the education ministry said that Fies had used up its 2.5 billion reais ($800 million) budget for 2015 and new loans this year and next would depend on the extent of an austerity push by President Dilma Rousseff.
Unexpected cutbacks to the Fies program at the start of the year cut short a rally of education companies such as Kroton Educacional SA and Ser Educacional SA, which relied on the loans for about half of their revenue.
($1 = 3.1 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Juliana Schincariol; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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