Tertiary education is very expensive. The recent #FeesMustFall protest shows how difficult it is for students to find funding for their tertiary studies. There are different ways to fund your tertiary studies but finding the opportunities can be difficult.


Bursaries are available to students based on their financial need, academic programme choice, personal background and often academic results or in recognition of your work in a specific field of study. In some cases, you might be required to pay back some of the bursary money or work for the company who provided you with the bursary after your studies. Bursaries usually cover more than just academic (tuition) fees, often including money for books and living expenses. If you are required to work back the money but wish to work at a different company, you can usually ask to repay the money instead, but you will need to check with the company.


Scholarships are grants awarded to students to help them pay for their studies. In most cases, you will not have to repay the scholarship money or work back the money. However, most scholarships only cover academic (tuition) fees and not living expenses. Scholarships are awarded to a student based on various requirements such as academic results, personal background or academic programme choice.


A study loan is money you borrow at an interest rate, to pay for your studies. You will have to repay the loan plus the accumulated interest upon completion of your studies. Loans are available from banks, some universities or colleges, Edu-loan and NSFAS. In some cases, you are able to convert your loan into a bursary depending on your academic results. Loans are awarded to students based on their financial need and family income.


Where to find a bursary or scholarship:
Bursaries and scholarships are provided by the government, companies, universities, private individuals or social development organisations. Here you will find some useful websites to help you find a bursary or scholarship.