In your final year of high school?
You finished high school, no money to study?
You have great, average or bad results? Of course you’re one of those! Stuck at home and wondering what to do?
What are the options?
If you’re still in high school, focus on your schoolwork, get your best possible results and ignore distractions.
Adults with an axe to grind, be they teachers dissatisfied with salaries or parents in a community who are unhappy with service delivery and want to demonstrate – you need to demand that your learning needs are met. When teachers go on strike, continue to go to class and do your work. Teacher battles are not your responsibility – they knew what they were getting into when they started their careers. If adults in the community burn down libraries – save the books! Books contain the stories you need to learn from if you want to be free from the struggles adults in your communities are faced with. The only way you can change your life and your world is by trying to understand the complexity of the world around.
Casual breeds casualties.
If you’re poor and still in high school, good marks are essential. If you’ve always taken a casual approach, this is the time to take responsibility for your results and get serious about your dreams. When you’re poor, you need to work twice as hard, maybe even harder. Life can be brutal and make you want to die. The good thing about being poor is that it makes you tough in ways you don’t know till you put yourself under pressure. You’ll only discover this strength when you put yourself on the line, take risks and keep pushing towards your dream.
When you’re poor, you’re in competition against those who have access to resources.
We understand it’s tough, but let’s agree that marks are important if you wish to study after school and need to compete for resources. Even the wealthy apply for bursaries and scholarships, what you gonna do?! You’ll be tough and compete as best you can.
Tertiary education facilities such as colleges and Universities are becoming increasingly expensive. Many people are starting to think of tertiary education as a luxury for the wealthy or those extremely smart ones who land a bursary or scholarship. With good results, you could meet the criteria for these bursaries, grants or scholarships.
If you’re smart and have shown talent and commitment throughout your school career, you should apply for as many scholarships as you can find. Scholarships are usually merit based, which means you need to show that your academic results match your passion and vision for yourself. You must prove that you are a good scholar in order to win a scholarship. If you’re in your final year, you have this year to be the best you can be, it’s your last year (hopefully) – make it mean something!
It’s hard writing advice for losers so don’t be a loser!
If you are poor, possibly with one parent, maybe you’re in charge of your brothers and sisters when you get home from school. By the time you’re able to open your schoolbooks at night, you’re too exhausted to do anything. That’s ok, you’re only human! Your challenges make studying difficult. Many people excel when they are placed in an environment that supports a positive learning experience. Some kids have it throughout their schooling and are advantaged by this.
Too bad, you’re still in the same competition for limited positions and need to make the most of what you have and can give.
The only way you’re going to get to where you want to be is to push yourself a little harder each day. Wake up half an hour earlier for a week and complete outstanding work from the previous day. The following week, wake up 45 minutes earlier until you are comfortable waking as early as possible and using the time to study. Explain your strategy to your teachers and ask them if they can give you any extra advice. Teachers appreciate effort and can usually offer surprising support if you allow them to understand you better.
If life is tough and interferes with your focus, show what you are able to achieve with the limited time and resources that you do have. Pass all your subjects and aim for an average of around 55% or more. When you do badly in something, speak to your teacher and negotiate for an opportunity to improve your mark. If you don’t speak to your teachers, how will they know that you are making a greater effort trying to achieve your dreams. Trust me, teachers love the bad kids turned good. it doesn’t matter how much of a brat you were before, teachers are just kinda wired to believe in your potential and when you ask them for help, they’ll do what it takes. It’s very rarely that you find a teacher who won’t take a senior student seriously.
If you believe you’ve done your best and that you can do better with improved support – look for bursaries and grants. Too many people who struggle blame themselves for doing something wrong or not being good enough, as a result they never take chances or the initiative to apply for the good stuff. If you believe you’re being held back by your circumstances, find application forms for bursaries and grants and write a convincing letter about how you overcame your struggles to accompany your application.
You must show that you are a victor, not a victim.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme assists students who have the academic potential to succeed at university and who qualify in terms of the NSFAS Means Test for financial aid. The downfall is that they don’t fund studies at private colleges or institutions.
Bursaries and grants are usually non repayable ‘gifts’ and mostly based on need. There are often rules for the award of a brant or bursary, for example, if you withdraw from your course or take a leave of absence you may have to repay a percentage of the bursary that you received in that academic year. Scholarships and grants come from a variety of sources, including private or non-profit organizations, government, and colleges. You can also apply to SETAs (Sectoral Education and Training Authority) for bursaries and awards. (The SETA contacts list is linked at the end of this article.) Just remember that scholarships are based on your scholastic ability or merit, whilst the other forms of assistance are needs based – they ask, who will benefit most from this support, who needs it the most?
Often you are required to work for the donor organisation or business that granted you the funds. That’s ok! This means that you have job security for at least one year after completing your studies. Besides, if they took a chance on you when you needed it the most, why not take it further and confirm that they invested correctly. Working for them will allow you to network and gain invaluable experience while you figure out your next move.
Grant and scholarship providers usually set their own rules with regard to who can or can’t apply. For this reason, you shouldn’t waste your time applying if you are not eligible. The key to receiving these awards is finding scholarships and grants whose eligibility criteria you meet. Here are some details that you should consider before sending out your application:
Imagine filling out an application, only to find out that its deadline has passed. Even if you send it, you would not be able to fool the grant and scholarship provider. To avoid missing deadlines, you should apply early and make sure that you write the correct date. Contact the provider and ask what’s the earliest date that you can submit your application.
Although reviewers might show some leniency towards you if your grammar is weak – don’t count on it and don’t be lazy. If your scholarship falls under English or Business Management– where exceptional writing and communication skills are expected – sloppy grammar and spelling won’t cut it. The same can be said for science and history scholarships. If you are not a good writer, you should use the spelling and grammar check function to double-check your work. It’s never easy to spot your own errors, ask someone else to proofread your application before sending it out. Another person will also be able to spot mistakes a computer may have overlooked.
If the scholarship/grant that you are applying for is restricted to a certain age group, don’t waste your time if you’re not in that category. Providers usually set these restrictions for reasons that are only clear to them. You will find plenty of awards that you are qualified to receive. To find the best scholarships/grants, you should conduct a scholarship search online.
4) Other considerations
Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria before applying for grants and scholarships. Some providers award scholarships to students pursuing specific fields or those that attend a specific school. The qualifications will vary from scholarship to scholarship. Don’t be discouraged if you fail to meet the qualifications of a particular scholarship. You will eventually find the best scholarship/grant for you.
More Options for Financial Support
You can apply for a bank loan at any major bank. Unlike scholarships and busaries that often target South african citizens, loans are distributed both to South Africans and to non-South Africans with valid study permits. Bank loans also cover studies at a private institutions.When applying for a bank loan, you will have to show proof of registration at an educational institution. You’ll also need somebody, such as a parent or guardian, to sign surety for you as the loan must be repaid once you’ve completed your studies. You will need to keep up the interest payments throughout the term of the loan.
Bursaries for teachers
Funza Lushaka is a government-funded bursary scheme aimed at promoting teaching in public schools.Students planning to complete a teaching qualification (in a subject area identified as a national priority by the Department of Basic Education) can apply for full-cost bursaries – which cover the cost of tuition, books as well as living expenses.Recipients of these bursaries have to be South African citizens and will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they receive the bursary. While recipients may request to be placed at a school in a particular province, they cannot choose the school. Note that you need a student number to apply for a bursary and you can apply for a Funza Lushaka bursary through your university.
- See the Funza Lushaka website for more information.
- Considering social work as a career? Apply for a full-service bursary from the Department of Social Development.
Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/services/education/studentloans.htm#.VQfo946UcbM#ixzz3UdAobFQv
Websites with bursary information
GoStudy SA: lists bursaries according to field of study and includes bursary values, as well as a link to specific sites.
HCI’s National Bursary Scheme, which offers 1 200 bursaries a year to financially needy undergraduate students.
Funding opportunities from the National Research Foundation, which is one of the Department of Science and Technology’s key science councils.
If you know exactly what job you want and what studies you have to embark on, contact the SETA responsible for the industry that appeals to you by checking this list of SETAs.
You can find a list of qualifications offered by different SETAs and contact information here.
To find out more about the NSFAS, click here.