PPBU v PTPTN : Which One is Better?

May 09, 2017
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While every single student wants a scholarship, in any shape or form, the fact of the matter is, not everyone will receive one. The reality is, that while you can try to apply to as many as you want (and you should, if you meet the requirements), sometimes, it may just, not work out. However, don’t be discouraged. While it is indeed demotivating, there is another option of course, and that would be an educational loan. In Malaysia, the two most notable ones have to be  Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) and Yayasan Bank Rakyat’s Pembiayaan Pendidiakn Boleh Ubah (PPBU). Here, we will dissect and compare to two, and give you detailed breakdown as to which will be best suited to you and your needs.


What it is

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The PTPTN Education Loan Scheme was established with the purpose of providing educational loans to students studying in Higher Education Institutions locally. These loans will enable students to finance a full or partial tuition fees and living costs during the study period, thus, opening up more opportunities for all students to pursue higher education.

PPBU on the other hand, is offered to tertiary level education from Skills Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, Professional, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate (PH.D) to deserving Malaysian. Its aim is to aid the social and economic development of Malaysians by enabling bright but needy students to receive undergraduate education at local Public OR Private Higher Learning Institutions and Training Institutes in the country on a full-time basis.


What are the Minimum Requirements?

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Many already know PTPTN‘s requirements by now, but for those of you who don’t, here is a gentle reminder:

  • You are a Malaysian citizen
  • You are aged 45 years and below
    You must already have an offer to study at an institution of higher learning (both public and private institutions, including colleges, universities and polytechnics, are accepted)
  • The course that you are pursuing is approved and accredited by MQA
  • The remaining period of your study must not be less than one year
  • You have no other sponsors
  • You must have an SSPN-i savings account before sending in your application


For PPBU on the other hand, their requirements are a little more stringent, broken down into general and specific, based on the level of study you are currently at:

General Requirements

  • Malaysian citizen
  • NOT less than 18 years old during application and acceptance of the study offer.
  • NOT exceeding 30 years old upon graduation for Malaysia Skills Certificate, Diploma and Bachelors Degree.
  • NOT exceeding 45 years upon graduation for Masters Degree, Doctorate & PhD.
  • Confirmation of admission from the public OR private University OR Training Centre.
  • Applicants must have/create a savings account with Bank Rakyat with a minimum of RM100 account balance.
  • Only fields of studies which are recognized by the Public Services Department (JPA) / Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) / Malaysian Vocational Training Council (NVTC) / Government Agencies (Malaysia) concerned and acknowledged by the Board of Trustees of YBR.

Specific Requirements

  • for Doctorate / PHD the qualified applicants must hold a Masters Degree qualification with CGPA of 3.00 and above OR a Bachelor’s Degree with a CGPA of 3.75 and above.
  • for Masters Degree, applicant must hold a Bachelor’s Degree with CGPA of 3.00 and above.
  • for Degree, applicants must hold a Diploma OR STPM (Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia) with CGPA 3.0 and above OR – STAM equivalent to STPM OR Matriculation with at least CGPA 3.00 and above
  • for Diploma, the applicant must have SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) qualification with a minimum grade of 5A & 4B (No grades below C)
  • For Skills Diploma (Diploma Kemahiran), applicants should have attained or currently holding Level 2 Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) qualification.
  • For Skills Certificate (Sijil Kemahiran), applicants should have passed SPM, with a mandatory pass in Bahasa Malaysia and at least 2 credits in any other subjects.


What courses do they cover?

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PTPTN covers many courses, which we have listed down just below. However, if you do have to ask, PTPTN does not cover private pre-university courses such as A-Levels, AUSMAT/SACE, Matriculation and the like. Moving onwards to the good bit (Please note the type of institution they have listed down) :

  • Diploma (Full-time): IPTA, Politeknik dan IPTS
  • Diploma (Part-time): IPTA, Politeknik dan IPTS*
  • Diploma (PJJ): IPTA
  • Advanced Diploma: IPTA dan Politeknik
  • First Degree (Full-time): IPTA dan IPTS
  • First Degree (Part-time): IPTA dan IPTS*
  • Masters (Full-time/Part-Time/PJJ): IPTA
  • PhD (Full-time/Part-time/PJJ): IPTA
  • Professional Courses (Full Time/Part-time/PJJ): IPTA

* Education Loans are prioritised for students in UNITEM, UNITAR, Wawasan Open University and Asia E University.


As far as PPBU goes, this time, the tables have indeed been turned and their sponsored courses are a little easier to digest:

Priority is given to the following fields of study

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Business Management
  • Human Resources
  • Economy
  • Media Communication
  • Law
  • Actuarial Science

However, applicants involved in other fields may apply as well, as PPBU does sponsor all other courses , with the only two exceptions being medicine and piloting.


How much do they sponsor?

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Please note that we will talk about the discounts/exemptions for both PTPTN & PPBU later, so don’t worry, we didn’t forget.

PTPTN base their amount given, on which category you fall under, whether its A, B or C.

  • A (Household income is below RM4,000 and BR1M recipient (name is in BR1M database): Maximum amount
  • B (Household income is below RM8,000, but above RM4,000) : 75% of maximum amount
  • C (Household income is above RM8,000): 50% of maximum amount

So most of you may know ask, “I understood all that, but what do you mean by maximum amount?”. Well, good question keen observer. The maximum amount is dependent in what type of course you study and what type of university you study that in. For example, Student No.1 studying Pharmacy at an IPTS would have a different maximum amount compared to Student No.2 studying Education at an IPTA. Here is the list of the maximum amount based on the course and type of university.

Note: If you are still confused, please scroll above to re-check with category you fall under. Remember, it is based on your household income. 


PPBU on the other hand gives out maximum amounts based on the level of study you apply for.

  • PhD: Up to RM18,600 annually
  • Masters: Maximum of RM12,000 annually
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Maximum of RM9,500 annually (Only RM6,500 for UiTM)
  • Diploma: Maximum of RM7,500 annually (UiTM & Politeknik only RM6,500)
  • Skills Diploma: Up to RM30,000 (2 years).
  • Skills Certificate: Up to RM4,920 annually.


What exemptions are there? Will I have to pay the whole amount back?

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For PTPTN,  if you achieve a First Class Honours for your Degree, your loan will be converted into a scholarship. Therefore, you wont have to pay anything back! First Class Honours would usually require a CGPA of 3.70 and above. Other than that however, there aren’t any exemptions for performing well in your chosen course. However, this year saw an incentive being injected for those who have to settle their loans.

  • Discount of 15% for FULL SETTLEMENT of loan.
  • Discount of 10% for at least a 50% payment of the remaining balance in one go.
  • Discount of 10% for repayments via salary cuts or Direct Debit following the Jadual Bayaran Balik (JBB) that was fixed.


PPBU has an extensive breakdown of discounts given to those who do well. Below are the range of CGPAs achieved compared to the discount you will receive.

  • 3.75 : Loan is converted into a scholarship
  • 3.74 – 3.5: You will only have to pay 10% of the borrowed amount.
  • 3.0 – 3.49: You will only have to pay 30% of the borrowed amount.
  • 2.99 – 2.50: You will only have to pay 50% of the borrowed amount.
  • 0 – 2.49: You will have to pay 100% of the borrowed amount.


What about the repayment? How do I do that? When do I have to do that?

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As far as PTPTN goes, you will need to start making payments 6 months after you graduate (beginning with the 7th month). If you did not achieve First Class Honours, then, you will need to pay back the full amount with the addition of a flat rate interest of 1% (or ujrah, a syariah-compliant “fee” to help with the administrative and management costs). The time allotted to an individual to complete the repayment depends on the amount borrowed.

  • Less than RM10,000: 5 years
  • RM10,000-RM22,000: 10 years
  • RM22,000-RM50,000: 15 years
  • >RM50,000: 20 years

It is indeed necessary, especially when PTPTN has time and again reminded the public that payments should begin from the 7th month, with or without notice from PTPTN. Evidently, many have failed to note the very important statement,  with the news of droves of people being black-listed coming to light in recent times. If you’re facing difficulties, visit one of the PTPTN offices and talk to their employees, who may help you in settling. Also, do not forget the offer of discounts for big sum payments, valid till December 31, 2017. To find out in detail about repaying your loans, please click the link below to view the PTPTN Repayment Brochure.

PTPTN Repayment Brochure 

PPBU have a slightly different method. Upon graduation, students are required to submit their full academic transcripts along with a letter to the office of graduation YBR through e-mail or post. Repayment to PPBU is done via two methods, namely either through internet banking (i-rakyat) or in any branch of Bank Rakyat. Postponement of repayment will only be allowed if the student is accepted to pursue their studies at a higher level and for approved reasons which are subject to the discretion of Yayasan Bank Rakyat.


How to apply?

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To apply to PTPTN, just follow these 5 Simple steps

  • Open an SSPN-i account — you can do this at any PTPTN counters, or at Maybank, Bank Islam, BSN, CIMB Bank, Agrobank or Bank Rakyat.
  • Open a savings account at a panel bank — you will need to open a savings account with a specific bank based on your choice of institution (IPTS panel banks; IPTA panel banks)
  • Buy a PTPTN number from Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) — this will cost you RM5, and is valid for 6 months
  • Head to PTPTN’s website to apply online: http://www.ptptn.gov.my/gateway
  • Complete the application form carefully based on the instructions

To apply for PPBU, please click on our Yayasan Bank Rakyat (Pembiayaan Pendidikan Boleh Ubah) 2017 page



And the winner is ………. you of course! Both the PPBU and PTPTN have it’s pros and cons. It really is up to the student to think and decide which one is better suited to what they want to achieve. Having two different options though is definitely a win for students all over Malaysia.

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