Financial Options To Fund Your Degree

Financial difficulties should never stand in the way of achieving one’s academic dreams and goals.


By Valerie Mncube

Aspiring to study at an institution of higher learning is a good thought. The freedom and obtaining the qualification you have always wanted keeps a lot of people going. What happens though when you are unable to fund your university career?

There are several funding options in place to help students settle the financial obligations of studying at varsity. These include but are not limited to the ones mentioned below.

Fundza Lushaka Bursary

This is a bursary awarded to students studying towards a four-year Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree or a one-year post graduate education degree (PGCE).

Applications for this bursary are done online from 1st October till 11th January 2019 for first-time applicants. Returning students have until 16th November 2018. The criteria include applicants having:

  • A South African citizenship
  • A good academic standing
  • No criminal record

SANDF Education Trust

The South African National Defense Force Education Trust funds students who are studying or are interested in studying human and community development. Application deadline is on 1st of October.

Applicants must be in possession of the following:

  • Academic record/June matric results
  • 60% academic average for senior students/APS score of 22 for matric pupils
  • Proof of financial need (affidavit, bank statement, pension or grant proof)
  • Valid South African Identity document

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

NSFAS is currently a state-provided bursary. It was converted from being a loan at the beginning of the year for first time applicants. NSFAS funds any undergraduate degree provided that the applicant has a good academic record. For one to apply for NSFAS, the following is required:

  • Valid South African Identity document
  • Identity documents of parents or guardian
  • Proof of household income
  • Consent form signed by parent/guardian

One should note that applications for the 2019 academic year will close on 30th November 2018.

Patrice Motsepe Foundation Bursary

This bursary funds arts, Agriculture, business studies, engineering, mathematics, information technology, and science studies. To apply, one must have:

  • A valid South African identity document
  • Identity documents of parents or guardian
  • Proof of household income
  • If parents are deceased, the death certificate should be attached
  • If parents are divorced, the divorce decree should be provided

Application closing date for this bursary is on the 14th of October.

UJ Honours bursaries

The University of Johannesburg awards bursaries to accepted or provisionally accepted students.

Faculties which offer Honours degrees include:

  • Art, Design and Architecture
  • Education
  • Humanities
  • Economics and financial sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Management
  • Sciences

These faculties offer honours degree bursaries for specific courses only and these can be found on the UJ website.

Financial difficulty should never stand in the way of achieving one’s academic dreams and goals. Hence, one should find out more about these funding methods and choose the best from them. TOJ

Reporting by Valerie Mncube; Editing by Gaby Ndongo

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