A successful bursary application can be a game-changer for students. Bursaries provide the means to achieve your academic goals. Many bursaries are available. Take these steps to deal with the stiff competition for them!
Competing and Applying for Bursaries in South Africa
Are you already enrolled at a university or college and need financial support? I found some bursaries that are still open for 2023/24.
Prepare The Best Bursary Application
Bursaries are highly sought after by talented students across the country, as a result, you need to be competitive.
Submit A Competitive Bursary Application
With the cost of tertiary education rising every year, the competition for bursaries is intense. It’s no secret that pursuing higher education in South Africa can be a huge financial burden for many families. Therefore, bursaries have become vital for students who want to continue their studies but cannot afford to do so. As a result, the demand for bursaries in South Africa has skyrocketed, making the application process tough.
Are Bursaries Any Good?: A Bursary is Better Than Repaying a Student Loan
WARNING: All bursaries are definitely not equal! There are brilliant bursaries and then there are misery bursaries.
So you must learn to identify bursaries that are most suitable to your needs. Although you will probably be forced to apply to all the bursaries you can find, bear in mind that some are better than others. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
My Thumbs Down: Bursaries that don’t offer a living allowance.
Some bursaries don’t offer an allowance and as a result, they are not affordable to students who already face severe financial hardships. So yes, we especially resent corporate bursaries that state BEE applicants as their target market. A bursary without a living allowance is wholly unsuitable and lacks an understanding of why we have BEE in the first place. But what do you think?
What is a bursary?
A bursary is a financial award that is provided to students who require financial assistance to cover tuition fees and other educational expenses. Here are a few pointers to explain bursary basics:
- Financial Need: Bursaries are typically awarded to students who come from low-income families or who are experiencing financial hardship. The aim is to provide financial assistance to students who may not have the means to pay for their education.
- Academic Merit: Bursaries are also often awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. This is because the organizations providing the bursaries want to invest in students who are likely to succeed academically and contribute positively to society.
- Field of Study: Bursaries are awarded to students who are pursuing studies in a specific field or discipline. For example, bursaries may be available for students studying medicine, engineering, or law.
- Demographics: Some bursaries are specifically targeted at certain demographic groups, such as women, people with disabilities, or members of underrepresented communities.
- Return on Investment: Some bursaries may come with a requirement that the student must work for the organization that provided the bursary for a certain period of time. This is a way to ensure that the investment made in your education is returned to the organization in some way.
Examples of bursaries in South Africa
- Allan Gray Orbis Foundation: The foundation offers bursaries to high school learners and university students studying in various fields, including business, engineering, and natural sciences.
- Sasol Bursary: Sasol offers bursaries to students studying in various fields, including engineering, science, and commerce.
- National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS): The government-funded NSFAS offers bursaries to South African students studying at public tertiary institutions.
- Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme: The program offers bursaries to students studying in fields related to teaching, including mathematics, science, and technology.
- Nedbank Bursary Programme: Nedbank offers bursaries to students studying in fields relevant to their business, including accounting, finance, and information technology.
- Bursaries offered by SETAs: The 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities offer bursaries in fields where there are scarce and critical skills.
How do you apply for a bursary?
- Research: Firstly, find available bursaries that match your qualifications and interests. Then check the eligibility criteria, closing dates, and the application requirements.
- Prepare your application: Once you have identified the bursaries you want to apply for, gather all the necessary documents and information, including your academic records, reference letters, and personal statements.
- Submit your application: Follow the instructions provided by the bursary provider and submit your application before the closing date. Also, make sure that you have completed all the required fields and attached all the necessary documents.
- Follow-up: After submitting your application, follow up with the bursary provider to check on the status of your application. Some bursary providers may require you to attend an interview or provide additional information.
- Acceptance: If you are successful, you will receive an acceptance letter or email, which will outline the terms and conditions of the bursary. Make sure that you understand and agree to the terms before accepting the bursary.
Bursary Applications Must Meet Olympic Standards
Submitting a competitive application is crucial when applying for a bursary in South Africa. You only obtain the funds if your application is as solid as gold baby! The competition for bursaries is high. Applicants need to stand out from the rest to increase their chances of receiving funding.
To submit a competitive bursary application, you want to consider the following tips:
- Deep Research: Thoroughly research the bursary provider and their requirements. Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and have a good understanding of what the bursary covers.
- Personal statement: Write a compelling personal statement that showcases your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and future goals. This statement is your chance to explain why you are the best candidate for the bursary.
- Letters of recommendation: Obtain strong letters of recommendation from teachers, lecturers, or employers who can attest to your academic and personal qualities.
- Academic record: Ensure that your academic record is outstanding. Bursary providers often prioritize applicants with exceptional academic performance.
- Community involvement: Highlight your involvement in community service and volunteer work. This demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact in your community.
- Attention to detail: Pay close attention to the application instructions and ensure that you provide all the required documents and information.
By following these tips, bursary applicants can submit a competitive application and increase their chances of receiving funding to pursue their education.
Bursaries still open for applications in 2023
Bursaries will be awarded for studies towards the following qualifications:
- Civil Engineering (BEng or BSc)
- Environmental (BEng or BSc)
- Geochemistry (BEng or BSc)
- Geology (BEng or BSc)
These bursaries are offered for:
- Chemical Engineering (BSc or BEng)
- Civil Engineering (BSc or BEng)
- Electrical Engineering (BSc or BEng)
- Forestry and Wood Science (BSc)
- Industrial Engineering (BSc or BEng)
- Mechanical Engineering (BSc or BEng)
- Mechatronics Engineering (BSc or BEng)
If you are currently or you will be enrolled in a BSc / BEng / BCom / BIS degree in:
- Computer Science,
- Computer & Software Engineering,
- Information Technology,
- Game Design
- or Informatics
4. Post-Graduate Bursary Application: South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Closing date: 30 September 2023
SANSA provides post-graduate degree bursaries to contribute to the national target for qualified post-graduates in Science and Engineering.
How to Find TVET Bursaries In The Industry of Your Choice
1. NSFAS Bursaries Often Target Scarce and Critical Skills
The government can target priority industries and priority groups, such as unemployed Black women for bursaries via NSFAS. Begin by understanding what the scarce and critical skills are. Don’t be hung up on a particular industry, rather understand how many different industries need the skills that you may be interested in. Also understand skills in terms of hard, soft and transferable. The government and employers will offer bursaries in fields where there is a high demand for skills.
2. Research Relevant Industry SETAs for Bursaries
Narrow your search for bursaries to two or three SETAs. Each SETA represents a different set of industries. Visit the SETA websites that you have identified for bursaries.