I REFER to the letter from a student of Hong Kong Polytechnic which appeared in the South China Morning Post, on November 14. The Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFAA) has experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of applications under the Local Student Finance Scheme (LSFS) this year. Up to November 19, we had received 34,045 applications as compared with a total of only 23,598 applications in 1993-94, which represents a sharp increase of about 44 per cent. To cope with the situation, this agency has employed additional permanent as well as temporary staff to deal with the increase in workload. Despite the difficulties experienced, the processing of applications, in general, is making good progress. Up to November 30, we had completed processing of about 21,090 applications compared with about 14,410 for the same period last year, representing an increase of about 46.4 per cent. As of December 1, the majority of applications received from current students had been completed and financial assistance paid. We are now concentrating on the applications received from the first year students for which the deadline for submission was October 31. We aim to complete the processing of the bulk of these applications by the end of December, and the remainder which were received in the month of October by the end of January, 1995. We are sympathetic towards students who have not yet been informed of the outcome of their application which in normal circumstances would take about three months to process to completion. We are doing our utmost to expedite the vetting process. Students who have problems in paying their tuition fees before the outcome of their application for financial assistance is known have been advised to seek authority to postpone such payment from their institutions, pending notification of results. They are also welcome to write in or contact us by telephone if special assistance is required.