Funding your studies

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools. Full-cost bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority. Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they receive the bursary. Visit http://www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za/ for further information.

 

University financial aid

Most universities offer bursaries or grants to students that have excelled in their previous studies or on the sports field. Check with your university's financial aid office whether you are eligible for any of these bursaries or awards, and make sure that you apply before the closing date.

 

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a statutory body funded by the Department of Education, provides study loans to academically able but financially needy students. The size of the initial NSFAS loan ranges from R2 000 to R30 000. You should apply at your university's financial aid office.

 

External bursaries

Many South African companies offer bursaries to promising students. Some companies require you to "pay back" the bursary by working at the company once you've completed your degree - giving you a job and work experience immediately after your graduation. The Bursary Register, available at most high schools and at your university's financial aid office, will provide you with a full list of bursaries available in your particular field.

 

Student loans

All of South Africa's major banks (Absa Bank, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank) offer student loans, both to South Africans and to non-South Africans with valid study permits. When applying for a bank loan, you will have to show proof of registration at an educational institution. You'll also need somebody, such as a parent or guardian, to sign surety for you.

 

Paying your own way

You can also choose to pay your own way. By taking a year off to work before studying, or by working part-time while pursuing your studies, you can gain valuable work experience while earning to finance your degree. You'll have to be disciplined, however, to make sure that you set aside enough time for both your studies and your work, and to make sure that you don't fall behind in either.

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