In a decision taken at an extraordinary session, the National Monetary Council (CMN) reduced the interest rate of the Higher Education Student Financing Fund (Fies) for new contracts from 3,5% to 3,4%. The new measure is also valid for the outstanding balance of old contracts and was published in the Official Gazette of the Union this Thursday, the 11th. 

Fies finances the study of students in the private higher education network. Part of the tuition fee is assumed by the federal government, which charges after the students graduate. The government had already reduced the interest rate on contracts in January, which reached 6,5%. The economic area had also increased the term of funding, from two to three times the duration of the course. Medical students and undergraduates can deduct the outstanding balance with work in the public network, with percentages that can reach 1% per month. If the student is already working during the course, he can also write off the debt.

However, doctors should work in areas considered priority, according to an assessment by the Ministry of Health. For this category, the shortage was also reduced. It will last the entire period of medical residency, if it is done in a network program accredited by the National Commission for Medical Residency (CNRM). In addition, it should also be in a priority area. Previously, the deadline for these cases was 18 months. The National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE) started to manage Fies in place of Caixa Econômica Federal, as of 2009. In this way, the student can receive funding at any time, according to the Ministry of Education (MEC) . The financial agents will be Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil.

Mario Boechat