The coronavirus pandemic came as a shock and brought along so many changes in the lives of people across the globe. Businesses were closed, people lost their jobs, and the economy took a ride down a steep hill. Students also felt the impact of the changes in the areas of affording their fees and other school needs. Some of their parents/guardians still have no source of income or have insufficient funds to sponsor their children’s academics. This is where bursaries come in. Just like scholarships, they have been in the scene for years to enable students to further their education.
This article discusses what bursaries are in South Africa, where to get a bursary, a list of some bursaries, eligibility criteria, and how to apply for bursaries in South Africa.
What is a bursary in South Africa?
A bursary is a study program that an individual or a company sponsors to help students further their studies. Bursaries are given to students who meet the specific qualification requirements and cannot afford the cost of education. The individual or company provides financial assistance to enable the student to further their studies in their preferred areas of study. Most bursary programmes gift the students financial assistance and do not expect anything in return. However, some bursary programs specify that students have to work for them for the same period as that covered by the bursary programme once they complete the programme.
Bursaries can be fully funded. This means that the bursary covers the student’s full cost of education to further their studies. While other bursaries are partially funded. This means the bursary is simply an addition to the amount that the student or legal sponsor has to pay. Either way, bursaries ease the financial burden and make it easier for students to go through school.
Undergraduate programmes are usually partially funded. Nonetheless, some are fully funded. Postgraduate students can also get bursaries and it is of great help to them since their fees are usually on the high side. Bursaries cover study-related expenses such as the cost of accommodation, tuition fees, examination fees, meals, transport, study materials, and books. Some bursary programmes even offer students laptops to help them with their studies.
The individual or company, or organisation that offers the bursary may require the students to work for them after completing the study programme. This is a plus for the students because they have immediate employment upon completion of the study programme, and they will gain experience. The sponsor is not left out as they will have an employee who they are certain is well-trained and can attest to the students’ credibility. These students, turn workers, are knowledgeable and can get work done with little supervision. The industry gains skilled workers which give it a competitive edge in the global market. It is a win-win for all parties.
Where can I get a bursary in South Africa?
Before looking for bursaries in South Africa, decide what career path you want to take. They go after the bursaries in that line and apply for them. Talk to people who previously or are currently enjoying the benefits of a bursary program to walk you through the steps and help you seek bursaries. You can also search the internet for bursaries, and you are sure to find a couple of them that you are eligible for. Here are places where you can find bursaries in South Africa. Contact them through email, their website, or telephone.
- The Department of Higher Education and Training on their website www.careerhelp.org.za/funding or its other website that has scholarship programs for South Africans who wish to study in other countries www.dhet.gov.za/internationalscholarships/index.html
- Bursaries South Africa at www.zabursaries.co.za
- All Bursaries South Africa at allbursaries.co.za
- National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) at www.nsfas.org.za
- Universities and Universities of Technology
Bursaries in South Africa
Here is a list of some of the current bursaries that are available to students studying or planning to study different programs in South African institutions. Go through the list, and you may find one you can apply for.
- Cecil Renaud Bursary
- Genesis Analytics Bursary
- Vodacom Merit Bursary
- Weir Minerals Africa Bursary
- National Agricultural Marketing Council Bursary
- Compensation Fund Bursary
- Africa WETU Foundation Bursary
- Sanlam Actuarial Bursaries
- ISFAP bursary Funding
- Nedbank External Bursary
- Khulisa Academy Bursary
- Tomorrow Trust Tertiary Bursary
- DSI-CSIR Bursaries
- Ninety One Changeblazers Undergraduate Bursary
- ABSA BMI Bursary
- Citrus Academy Bursary
- Hatch Bursaries
- Anglo American POlatinum Bursaries
- Moore SAICA Trainee Bursary
- UFS Honours Bursary
- merSETA Bursaries
- WK Construction Bursary
- Independent Field Adviser (IFA) Bursary Scheme
- SAMSTIP Teacher Internship Bursaries
- Shoprite Bursaries
- Columbus Stainless Bursaries
- SEIFSA Bursary
- Exxaro Bursary
- Jakes Gerwel Fellowship
- Mediclinic Bursary
- Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship
- LegalWise Bursary
- Embassy of France in South Africa Bursary
- Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Bursary
- Coronation Exceptional Student Bursary
- Schwarzman Scholarship
- Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund Bursary
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Bursary
- South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Bursary
- Investec Tertiary Bursary
- Margaret McNamara Education Grant Bursary
- South African National Seed Organisation (SANSOR) Bursary
- Canon Collins: RMTF Scholarships for Postgraduate
- FEDISA Future Vision Bursary
What do you need to qualify for a bursary?
Bursaries usually have specific eligibility criteria that students have to meet depending on what the sponsor or bursar wants to see in the student receiving the bursary. Students should carefully assess the clauses that come with the bursary and compare it to other available bursary options. That way, the student will make an informed decision on the bursary that is suitable. It is advisable to only apply for bursaries that meet the full eligibility because your application will not be considered if even one criterion is lacking.
Here is a list of general requirements that you need to qualify for a bursary in South Africa.
- You have to be a South African national or a permanent resident living in South Africa.
- You have applied to study a program in an accredited institution in South Africa or you are presently studying on one.
- You have to show you have financial needs. Submit your household income as proof of your financial need.
- You plan to study a certain programme or are currently studying a programme that is within the limits of the bursaries programme requirements.
- You have a history of getting excellent grades in school. Some bursaries require that you have excellent grades in specific subjects such as Science and Mathematics.
You have to submit the required documents either by post, fax, email, or in-person delivery depending on what method the bursar specified. Here are the documents you need to submit when applying. Ensure they are authentic because false documents will disqualify you from the bursary programme.
- Certified copy of your birth certificate or identity document
- A certified copy of all your academic achievements which can include your Matric certificate if you have completed Matric or your latest results if you are currently in Matric).
- Full academic record if you are in a higher education institution.
- Proof of your household income to show that you have financial needs. It is your parent/guardian’s proof of unemployment or proof of income.
- Submit proof of your residence of the bursary is only for students living within a particular locality.
- Submit proof that you have applied to or have registered at a tertiary institution in South Africa. It should have the school’s letterhead.
- Submit the death certificate of your parents if they are of late.
- Submit a doctor’s certificate if you are permanently disabled.
- Send in a motivational letter about why you deserve the bursary award. This includes how it will benefit you and the bursar.
How to apply for bursaries
- Meet all the requirements that are stated in the above section and any other requirement that is specific to the bursary in question.
- Carefully read through the bursary application form and fill it with any information that is required of you. If you have difficulty understanding a certain section, contact the bursary office to get clarified.
- Fill the bursary online application form if it is available. If not, then download a copy of the application form and submit it.
- Send in the required documents to serve as proof.
Read Also: Funza Lushaka Bursary Application
- After completing the bursary application, go through it carefully to ensure that you filled in the right information at every stage. Provide strong reasons why you deserve to get the bursary and how you can benefit your benefactor in the future.
- Go straight to the point and be transparent about your financial situation and how much you can spend in a year. Give a clear picture of any financial hardship you are facing and how it is affecting you. This will improve your chances of getting the bursary. Do not inflate the amount and do not decrease the amount of your household income because you will come across as a dishonest student. This may completely disqualify you from the bursary program.
- Late entries are a sure way to be disqualified. Find out the bursary dates and apply as soon as you can. Benefactors do not consider late entries.