Where to find money to pay your college or university fees in SA

To find money to fund your education at college or university after high school never been easy in South Africa. But there are many government and private institution provide source of funding in different ways like Student loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries. Studying is an expensive undertaking. You can expect to pay between R10 000 and R100 000 for each year of undergraduate study at a South African university. Specialised or professional degrees, such as medicine and engineering,

By reading this article you already taken one step to achieve a goal of getting funds to pay your education. In these peace of article I will be giving a clear instructions to go and find yourself money for your education.

What is Bursary

A bursary is an amount of money made available to a student under certain conditions. It is not expected of the student to repay the money if he/she successfully completes his/her studies.

Bursaries are granted to students on the basis of: 

(a) Financial need

(b) Academic merit

(c) A combination of financial need and academic merit

(d) Encouraging students to study in a specific field

(e) As an incentive to accepting a service contract with the company granting the bursary.

What is a student Loan

A loan is an amount of money given to a student for his/her studies on condition that all the money is repaid once the student has completed his/her studies.

Loans are granted on one or more of the following conditions:

(a) That the loan will be subject to a low interest rate.

(b) That the repayment period is predetermined.

(c) Usually a guarantor is needed, i.e. someone who repay the money should the student fail to do so. (d) That the student sign a legal contract which binds him/her to repay the money.

(e) Failing repayment the lender can be taken to court.

What is a Scholarship

A scholarship is an amount of money given to a student based on his/her past academic excellence. It is usually only given for academic merit. Scholarships usually have no employment conditions, repayments or general conditions attached.

1. Financial aid from schools

You can check with a college or university directly to see what financial aid programs they offer.

You could be eligible for:

  • Government Grant
  • Bursaries
  • Scholarships
  • Work study programs
  • Summer employment opportunities

These are all sources of money you don’t have to pay back, you need to aware there is a competition involve as you are not alone who is looking for money to pay your studies.

How to apply for a bursary or scholarships?

These question might look like a simple thing to, but once you real in need of a bursary you will feel how difficult to match your qualification and bursary requirements and how to get available bursaries at hand. Just read the following few post to get along where to look for bursaries and scholarships

  • Employers of parents, friends, family
  • Religious organisations
  • Clubs, societies
  • Your local municipality
  • The institute or council of a specific career field
  • Your local newspaper, magazines, the local library
  • Social Media e.g Facebook group or pages Yo Career Start Here
  • Career websites like Your Bursary and  Khabza Career Portal

2.  Bank loans

Banks, trust companies and credit unions offer student loans and lines of credit. Talk to your financial institution for information. All of South Africa’s major banks offer student loans, both to South Africans and to non-South Africans with valid study permits. Bank loans, unlike NSFAS loans, will also cover studies at a private institution.

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.

Although you will only need to start repaying your bank loan once you’ve completed your studies, you will need to keep up the interest payments throughout the term of the loan.

3. Self-funded

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.

It’s a good idea to save money from a summer job or job you hold throughout the year to help pay for your education. Your parents or other relatives might also be able to contribute to education costs. Another option is to consider investing savings through a bank/financial institution – so that money can earn interest – if you plan to attend college or university in the future.

4. External bursaries pay back

Many South African companies as well as provincial government departments offer bursaries to promising students. The terms of these bursaries vary tremendously. Contract bursaries 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. Many mining and engineering companies, in particular, provide contract bursaries.

5. National financial aid (NSFAS)

If you are a South African citizen you may be eligible for a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) loan for study at one of the country’s public higher education institutions.The NSFAS, a statutory body funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training, provides study loans to academically able but financially needy students.Much of an NSFAS loan can be converted into a bursary, which does not then need to be repaid, depending on one’s academic progress. A 100% pass rate would result in a 40% bursary rebate on an NSFAS loan.

The size of the initial NSFAS loan ranges from R2 000 to R30 000. You should apply at your university’s financial aid office. (See the list of university websites on the right.) . How to Apply for NSFAS Bursaries 2015 – All need to know!


  • Answer all the questions;
  • Complete the form neatly in print;
  •  Use black or blue ink only;
  • Keep the form clean and in good condition;
  • Carefully checks the form for mistakes;
  • Be completely accurate;
  • Be completely honest;
  • Include a certified copy of your most recent examination results signed by a Commissioner of Oaths, usually found at the local Post Office or Police Station.


  • Apply early, well before the closing date – applications are not accepted after the closing date;
  • Apply only for those bursaries you are eligible for;
  • Apply for as many bursaries as possible;
  • Only accept one bursary unless the organisation says you may apply for others;
  • Be prepared for disappointment – you may not be successful the first time or the second time;
  • Try to make another plan in case you do not get a bursary;
  •  A neat, accurate and honest application makes a good impression.