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Financing My Studies

Students Guide to Funding:

Imagine dreaming of having a career one day Ė and being able to make that dream come true!

You may think that, because your family doesnít have much money, you canít live a dream like that. But, in fact, itís quite possible.

The cost of studying at university or college is high, and many people think that you must have your own money to be able to do so. But, thatís not so. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was set up to help needy South African students to further their education at public universities and Further Education & Training (FET) Colleges. Funding is for a first undergraduate degree or a National Certificate (Vocational) course at an FET College.

This assistance may be in the form of a loan or bursary. Bursaries are available for specific fields of study - teaching, accounting and actuarial science, social work, and various scarce skills study fields (eg. IT, engineering, etc.). There are also bursaries for the National Certificate (Vocational) courses at FET Colleges.

Since there are not enough bursaries available for all students in South Africa, you may receive a loan which is repayable when you start working one day. In fact, most students in South Africa fund their studies through a NSFAS- administered loan. An NSFAS loan doesnít require a credit check on you or your parents. Repayment is easy, and the interest rate is low. Plus, part of the loan will not be repayable if you do well in your studies.

To find the best solution to your funding need, you should plan. By the middle of your Grade 12 year, you should know what field of study 72 National Skills Fund Chapter 9 you want to enter. Use either your end-of-year Grade 11 or your mid-year Grade 12 exam results to apply to a university. Once you have been accepted for studies at an educational institution, you can apply for financial aid. Apply at the universityís Financial Aid Office or the Student Support Centre at an FET College. You will need the following documents and information for this:

  • A certified copy of your barcoded South African ID
  • Proof of your familyís income
  • Copies of the IDs/birth certificates of your siblings at university, college, school or pre-school.

This information will be used to assess the extent of your financial need to see whether you can be provided with financial assistance. For both the Fundza Lushaka teaching bursary and the Department of Social Development social work bursary scheme, you need to apply directly to the relevant Government Department. For more information about the Department of Educationís Fundza Lushaka bursary, visit You can find out more about bursaries for social work by visiting an offi ce of the Department of Social Development.

If you want to find out more about NSFAS administered funds, send an SMS query to 32261, visit NSFAS or send an email to

Visit the following links to obtain more information:

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