Education is vital for everyone. The more someone studies, the better their prospect of getting employed gets. South Africa has a mix of public and private educational institutions along with semi-private schools. Irrespective of where you study, you’d have to pay the expenses.
While many students cover their own expenses, not everyone can afford the cost. Especially, those belonging to a previously disadvantaged background have to find other ways to fund their studies. Here are some ways students in South Africa are paying for their education.
Students who lack access to education often look to NSFAS or National Student Financial Aid Scheme. It’s a state-sponsored national organisation that provides mortgage-type loans to impoverished high-school students. Those looking forward to higher education qualifications can apply for the loans and use the funds to cover their education cost.
Students would have to start repaying the loans once they get employed or start their own business.
However, not everyone can avail the loans. It’s only reserved for a certain group of students who fulfil the following eligibility requirements:
The repayment rates are quite reasonable at only 3% of the annual salary. In case the yearly salary is more than R 59,300, it goes up to 8%, which helps in quick repayment of the loan.
As per the report published by World Bank, 90% of South African university students are eligible for NSFAS loans — which means that 10% need to figure out other options.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The next best — and in some ways, better — way for students to fund their studies in South Africa is to use bursaries and scholarships. Various organisations, both from the private and public sectors, offer financial aid to students through bursary/scholarship programmes. They set aside a certain amount of their revenue/budget for students who lack access to education.
College and university students can apply for the bursary programmes and get coverage.
The financial aid programmes vary in the coverage amount and duration. Some offer 100% coverage, while others only pay a certain amount. Some bursaries pay for the entire study programme, while others are awarded only for a year.
Bursaries and scholarships are more demanding than NSFAS. Only a few candidates (sometimes even one or two) are selected per year. But as an advantage, the students aren’t required to pay back the amount. So, there’s no debt involved. Some bursaries and scholarships even lead to employment at the organisation providing financial aid. So, these are considered more valuable by the students. These are not to be confused with learnerships which are entry-level roles students may take up after their tertiary education.
Fundi is a well-known online portal in South Africa to find and apply for such programmes. It also facilitates funding for textbook costs, laptops, and accommodation fees. So, if you’re in search of financial aid, consider signing up for Fundi.
Feenix is another option for students in South Africa to fund their education. It is a crowdfunding platform where students can sign up and seek donations from other members. It is an initiative of Standard Bank, a leading bank in the country.
There are no academic requirements or strict eligibility criteria like a bursary programme. Students would, however, have to demonstrate their financial needs and persuade donors to donate money. Feenix will transfer the entire money raised to the applicant.
The last option students in South Africa have is to take out a student loan to cover the expenses. There are numerous banks and financial services that cater to students and offer easy-to-avail loans. After verification and approval, the disbursal usually happens on the same day.
However, these loans come with a hefty obligation. Students would have to start repaying as soon as they graduate, irrespective of whether they get employed or not. On top of that, the interest rates are usually higher than NSFAS loans.
Some students take up part-time jobs to supplement their education. While that’s appreciable, it does make you ineligible for certain bursary programmes. So, it’s best to consider the above four options to fund your education in South Africa.
[imagesource:pixabay] France is considering legislation that would it compulsory for in...
[imagesource:hbo] Season four of Succession premiered on Sunday night, drawing attenti...
[imagesource:flickr] The media has been strangely quiet about Adidas's lawsuit against ...
[imagesource:tiktok/mariheredi] Airbnb host Marian Heredia should have named and shamed...
[imagesource:pixabay] Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk ...