How will you finance your studies?

How will you finance your studies?

Date Published: September 18, 2020

Most people want to move onto tertiary education but not everybody can afford it. 

Here are some tips on how to finance your further education. 

Get a bursary

Bursaries are funding programmes offered by companies or educational institutions. Usually, the institution will finance your studies and in return, you will sign a work contract with them. 

This is different for a donor bursary where deserving pupils will have their education financed due to their academic performance. 

Getting funded by a bursary works like this: 

  • Find a company or institution that will fund your studies
  • Apply with all the relevant documentation required 
  • If you get accepted, the company will finance your education and living expenses for when you study
  • Keep in mind that many bursaries depend on your grade 11 and 12 marks. Start applying early!

Get a student loan

Student loans, like bursaries, help finance the student lifestyle. This includes education, supplies and lifestyle expenses like food and rent. 

How does it work

Any individual can apply for a student loan, it is not income dependent. Once accepted the parent or guardian is expected to pay off a portion student loan each month.

The capital or the original amount granted (not counting the interest) is required to be paid back by the student when their studies are complete. Students are usually granted a 3-6 month grace period after their qualification is completed, to start paying. 

If the student is unable to pay, the parent or guardian will be required to pay.

The downfall of study loans

With student loans, money is often deposited straight into your bank account for you to make the payments. Sometimes, individuals spend the money too quickly and forget to save it to finance their studies and material costs. With student loans you must learn to budget.

Student loans also come with interest, these are money incurred costs that will add to the original amount you have to pay. 

Get a loan from NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is a government financing body that is the biggest student loan issuer in South Africa. 

For any low income family, NSFAS is a great option when it comes to funding your studies. If you have good marks while using a NSFAS loan, 40% of loans are converted to bursaries and do not require you to pay them back. 

Learn more about it here.

Loan from the Bank

A study loan is applied for by your parents or guardian.In order to qualify, you must have a rather high income and a very good credit score. 

When thinking about a loan from the bank, remember that the interest is way higher than with a NSFAS loan.

Pay back the money- is it compulsory?

Yes, all loans must be repaid unless they are converted into bursaries. 

Most loans will only need to be paid back when you’re finished with your qualification and can start working.

Work while you study

Often it may be better to work while you study so that you can pay your student costs yourself without a third party. This requires serious discipline.

Distance learning

Distance learning is an affordable further education option as it saves a great deal of costs. You work from home and have no contact sessions which makes transport and education cheaper. 

Pay as you study

Opt for colleges such as The Skills Academy that only require you to pay as you study. If you stop studying, you stop paying. Or if you finish your qualification early, you are not required to pay for the months that you didn’t study. 

This article was originally written on the 17th of November 2017. The original article can be found here

Author: Jan Badenhorst, CEO, Matric College