Very few people have the resources to study without some kind of financial aid. Whilst some school leavers choose to work for a few years to save for full-time studies, others work while studying on a part-time basis. Bursaries and scholarships can also provide some relief. Getting a loan from a bank is another way to pay for your education, provided you are willing to pay for it. Here’s how to improve your chances of getting the help you need.
Anyone whose family doesn’t have the financial resources to pay for their studies and can demonstrate academic potential can get financial help. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) make funding available. The NSFAS operates from the financial aid offices on campus.
The NSFAS aid is a loan, but up to 40% is written off if the candidate passes his or her subjects each year. The loan portion of a NSFAS bursary has to be paid back once you start working, but a lot of leeway is given to enable you to get on your feet. For more information, click www.nsfas.org.za
Tertiary institutions also have bursaries that are financed by donations or companies. These are not always awarded to students in the direst need, but candidates are often interviewed to make sure they suit the future employment requirements of the sponsoring company. The most important step in getting the financial aid you need is to get the relevant forms from the financial aid office at the institution where you want to study. Then fill them in as comprehensively as you can.
Applicants make all kinds of fundamental errors in filling in their applications. Simple errors, such as not providing a copy of your ID document or proof of school results, can jeopardise the chances of someone who would otherwise have been able to receive financial aid.
To obtain a bursary, the following process and criteria apply to students:
If you don’t qualify for a NSFAS bursary but still need financial aid, you may be able to get a bank loan. All major banks offer a student loan package, but it isn’t automatically granted to everyone who applies.
A parent or friend in employment must sign surety, meaning that they will be responsible for ensuring that the loan is paid back. You’ll also have to provide proof of academic progress. After completing your degree or diploma, bank loans are usually paid off in fixed amounts over the same time period as your studies. A period of grace is available for students who qualify in fields of study where they are required to do internships, articles or community service.
Remember that the interest on the loan must be paid during the student’s years of study and any grace period. This to ensure that the student does not pay interest on interest.
|Is usually awarded on merit to the students with the top academic results and have no strings attached. The admissions offices of the universities and colleges will be able to direct you to the scholarships that apply to your chosen area of study. People with a gift for a particular sport may also be eligible for a sports scholarship.||Is usually given based on financial need. Certain bursaries may bind you to work for a specific company for a year or two.||Must be repaid in fixed amounts specified by the bank, once the course is completed.|