Students, who wish to pursue their education but are financially incapable, can apply for bursaries to help them achieve their dreams. Existing students or those just entering the university can qualify for these grants if they meet all of the requirements. 

What are bursaries and how do they work?

A bursary involves a sum of money given to a student for their studies. In South Africa, many corporate and government organizations offer bursaries, especially to students in financial need. Bursaries usually cover all of the costs of tuition fees. There are also bursaries that pay for other costs like textbooks, accommodations, meals, and more. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is the largest organisation that provides financial aid to students looking at further study. Students can apply for the NSFAS application each year. 

Different types of financial aid

When applying for a bursary, applicants should check what the terms are and what they are receiving. There are several types of financial aid for education available in South Africa ranging from scholarships 

 BasisPays forRepaymentIs it competitive?
BursariesRequirements for applicationTuition
Textbooks
Accommodation
The sponsors will decideNo
Financial AidFinancial needsTuition AccommodationYesYes
GrantsRequirements, which are subject-relatedTuition
Research opportunities
NoYes
ScholarshipsSponsor requirements
Academic achievements
Tuition
Textbooks
Accommodation
NoYes
Student LoansAgreement between the provider and the applicantThe applicant chooses how to spend the fundsYesNo

Categories of bursaries

Applicants can find bursary providers easily if they can identify the bursary category. They can find these categories in the bursary application forms and they are for the various industries.  

Who will benefit from a bursary?

The bursary that an applicant chooses will benefit them, their future employer, and the industry they will work in. This is the main reason why companies always offer students financial assistance through these programs. 

How do I get a bursary in South Africa?

Getting a bursary in South Africa isn’t a long or tedious process. Applicants can use the internet to search for bursaries. If an applicant should find any difficulty in searching, they can ask the education department in their locale about any academic bursaries that accept applications. 

Bursary application process

After an applicant has chosen a bursary to apply for, they can follow these steps:

·      Gather information about the chosen bursary 

·      Check the eligibility requirements 

·      Download and accomplish the application forms 

·      Submit the accomplished forms 

Steps for obtaining a bursary

After filling in the application form, there are other things the applicant must do to increase their chances of getting the bursary. These include:

·      Applying early

·      Working hard 

·      Doing some community service or volunteer work

Tips for writing a motivation letter for the bursary

As part of applying for a bursary, applicants must compose a motivational letter. Together with the academic grades, the letter will convince the provider of the bursary why the applicant deserves financial assistance. Give a short introduction, then include details about career and academic goals. The motivational letter must leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Academic requirements

Like any other scholarship, a bursary will specify a set of requirements for applicants to qualify. This usually depends on the organization or company. The most common eligibility requirements may include:

·      A solid academic history 

·      Is currently studying or intends to study in a specific field of study accepted by the bursary program

·      Is currently studying or has applied to study at one of the recognized South African institutions

South African government bursaries 

The government of South Africa also offers bursaries within its various departments. To apply for a government bursary, applicants must meet the minimum criteria. Each of these bursaries will have its own set of requirements too.

Steps for getting a bursary to study in a different country

Applicants who plan to study abroad can apply to a bursary by:

·      Researching

·      Using various resources

·      Reaching out directly to the funder

·      Keeping track of the deadlines 

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