Whether you are studying accounting, marketing, finance, or any other commerce-related field, there are bursaries available to help alleviate the financial burden of your education. In this article, we will provide you with essential information about the different types of bursaries, eligibility criteria, application processes, and tips for securing these coveted funds.
Our aim is to empower you with the knowledge and resources necessary to access financial support that will enable you to focus on your studies without the added stress of monetary concerns. We understand that funding your education can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, you can find the bursaries that best suit your needs.
What are commerce bursaries?
Commerce has to do with the buying and selling of products and services and involves industries such as accounting, marketing, finance, etc. Commerce encompasses a broad range of subjects related to business, economics, finance, marketing, accounting, management, and other related disciplines.
A commerce bursary would then be a way to pay for your fees to study in this field. The purpose of a commerce bursary is to support students in their educational pursuits by assisting with tuition fees, textbooks, living expenses, or other educational costs.
Benefits of commerce bursaries
As mentioned before, a commerce bursary could pay for your tuition fees, textbooks, living expenses, and your other student needs. In this way, it reduces the financial burden on students and their families.
Access to Education
Commerce bursaries also make higher education more accessible to individuals who might not otherwise have the means to pursue a degree in commerce. This promotes inclusivity and diversity in the field.
Reduced Student Debt
By receiving financial assistance through a bursary, students can reduce their reliance on loans and minimize their overall student debt. This can lead to a more financially secure post-graduation situation.
Knowing that their financial needs are partially covered, students can focus more on their studies and academic performance. This can motivate them to excel academically, potentially leading to better job prospects in the future.
Professional Development and Increased Chance Of Securing Work
Some bursaries offer additional benefits such as mentorship programmes, networking opportunities, internships, or job placements. These opportunities can enhance a student's professional development and increase their chances of success in the job market.
Recognition and Prestige
Receiving a bursary is a form of recognition for a student's achievements and potential. It reflects positively on their academic and extracurricular accomplishments, enhancing their self-esteem and confidence.
Bursaries often come from organizations or businesses related to commerce. Establishing a connection with these entities can open doors for future job opportunities, internships, or cooperative education experiences.
Investing in a student's education through a bursary can have a positive impact on society. Educated individuals contribute to the economy, innovation, and community development, ultimately benefiting society as a whole.
Types of commerce bursaries available
These bursaries are awarded to students based on their demonstrated financial need. Financial need is typically determined through an assessment of the student's or their family's financial situation.
These bursaries are awarded to students based on their academic performance, achievements, or specific talents. They recognize and reward exceptional academic achievements or other outstanding accomplishments.
Community/Extracurricular Involvement Bursaries
Bursaries awarded to students who have demonstrated active involvement in their communities, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work. They may consider leadership skills, community service, and contributions to various groups or organizations.
Minority or Diversity Bursaries
Bursaries aimed at supporting students from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, promoting diversity and inclusion within the field of commerce.
Bursaries provided by specific industries or professional organizations related to commerce. They aim to encourage students to pursue careers within those industries and often come with networking opportunities or potential internships.
Bursaries funded by private companies or corporations, often in exchange for a commitment to work for the company for a specified period after graduation. These bursaries may also come with internship or work placement opportunities.
Bursaries provided by government agencies or departments to support students pursuing commerce-related studies. These bursaries may have specific criteria related to citizenship, residency, or specific academic programs.
Bursaries funded by individuals, families, or organizations through an endowment, with the interest generated from the endowment being used to provide ongoing financial assistance to students in commerce.
Research or Project Bursaries
Bursaries awarded to students conducting research or working on specific projects within the field of commerce. These bursaries may support research-related expenses and academic development.
Travel or Study Abroad Bursaries
Bursaries designed to support students who wish to study abroad or participate in exchange programs, providing financial assistance for travel, accommodation, and related expenses.
Eligibility criteria for commerce bursaries
The eligibility criteria for commerce bursaries can vary based on the organization or institution offering the bursary, the specific type of bursary, and the purpose of the bursary. However, here are some common eligibility criteria that students may encounter when applying for commerce bursaries:
Enrollment in a Commerce Program
Typically, to be eligible for a commerce bursary, you need to be enrolled in a commerce-related program at an accredited educational institution. This could include programs in business administration, economics, finance, marketing, accounting, management, or other related fields.
Many bursaries require a minimum academic performance. Academic achievement may be a key factor in determining eligibility and the amount of the bursary.
Some bursaries are need-based and require students to demonstrate financial need. This can be determined through information about family income, assets, and other financial circumstances.
Citizenship or Residency
Bursaries may have restrictions based on citizenship or residency status. Some may be available only to citizens or residents of a specific country, region, or state.
Specific Demographic Criteria
Certain bursaries target specific demographics, such as minorities, women, first-generation college students, or individuals from underprivileged backgrounds, to promote diversity and inclusion.
Community Involvement or Extracurricular Activities
Bursaries may consider involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, or leadership roles. Demonstrated participation in such activities can enhance eligibility for certain bursaries.
Industry or Career Goals
Some bursaries may target students aspiring to enter a particular industry or pursue specific careers within commerce. These bursaries often align with the goals and interests of the sponsoring organization.
Essay or Personal Statement
Applicants may be required to submit an essay, personal statement, or statement of purpose describing their goals, achievements, and reasons for applying for the bursary.
References or Recommendations
Providing letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or professionals may be part of the application process for certain bursaries.
Specific Field of Study or Focus
Bursaries may focus on a particular aspect of commerce, such as finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or international business. Eligibility may be tied to pursuing studies in that specific field.
How to find and apply for commerce bursaries
Commerce bursaries are often provided by educational institutions, private organizations, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit entities.
Bursaries Portal provides you with access to the latest bursaries, including Commerce bursaries, which are on offer. Head to our Latest Bursaries page to view some bursaries on offer now.
Tips for a successful bursary application
Read and Understand the Requirements
Carefully read and understand the eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and any other instructions provided. Ensure you meet all the requirements before proceeding.
Begin the application process well in advance to allow ample time for gathering necessary documents, crafting compelling essays, and completing the application accurately.
Research the Bursary
Understand the purpose, values, and objectives of the bursary provider. Tailor your application to align with their goals and emphasize how you fit into their vision.
Highlight Your Achievements and Strengths
Showcase your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership roles, and any other accomplishments that demonstrate your capabilities and commitment.
Address Financial Need
Clearly explain your financial circumstances and how the bursary will help you pursue your education. Be honest and transparent about your financial need.
Write a Strong Personal Statement or Essay
Craft a compelling, well-structured essay that highlights your goals, passion for commerce, and why you deserve the bursary. Be genuine and authentic in your writing.
If given the opportunity, express your gratitude to the bursary provider for considering your application. Thank them for their time and the opportunity to apply.
Top commerce bursaries in South Africa
National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) which provides financial aid in the form of a bursary fund for higher education students through NSFAS.
NSFAS gives bursaries to students from poor and working class backgrounds which goes beyond just paying for your fees. They’ll also pay the NSFAS students' registration, accommodation, transport, books through NSFAS allowances using the NSFAS bank account.
Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP)
ISFAP provides bursaries to deserving students who meet the requirements. Requirements for ISFAP entails coming from households with an annual income falling between R0 and R600 000 and being registered at the universities and courses that ISFAP partners with.
ISFAP funding is there to provide financial funding to lower-income students and those who fall into the “missing middle" and struggle to pay their tuition fees.
Nedbank Bursary Programme
Nedbank offers bursaries for various fields, including Commerce, Engineering, IT, and more. They provide financial support for tuition, accommodation, books, and a living allowance.
Standard Bank Group Bursary Fund
Standard Bank Group offers bursaries to undergraduate students pursuing studies in commerce, finance, and related fields. The bursary covers tuition, accommodation, and prescribed textbooks.
Investec Bursary Programme
Investec offers bursaries to students studying towards commerce-related degrees. The bursary covers tuition fees, textbooks, and accommodation.
Sasol Bursary Programme
Sasol provides bursaries for students in various disciplines, including commerce, engineering, and science. They offer financial support for tuition, accommodation, meals, and a personal allowance.
Old Mutual Education Trust Bursary
Old Mutual offers bursaries to students studying commerce, accounting, engineering, and more. The bursary covers tuition, accommodation, and prescribed textbooks.
Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship
While not a traditional bursary, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation offers a Fellowship that provides comprehensive financial support to Grade 12 learners and first-year university students pursuing studies in commerce or business-related fields.
Shoprite Bursary Programme
Shoprite offers bursaries to students studying commerce, retail business management, hospitality management, and more. The bursary covers tuition, textbooks, and a monthly allowance.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Bursary Programme
PwC offers bursaries to students pursuing studies in commerce, chartered accounting, or related fields. The bursary covers tuition fees and prescribed textbooks.
Ernst & Young (EY) Bursary Programme
EY offers bursaries to students studying towards a chartered accounting qualification. The bursary covers tuition fees, prescribed textbooks, and a living allowance.
Vodacom Bursary Programme
Vodacom offers bursaries to students studying various fields, including commerce and business-related studies. The bursary covers tuition, textbooks, and accommodation.
Alternative funding options for commerce students
Fundi student loans help students gain access to further education by covering the costs of attending tertiary institutions. It is important to note that Fundi does not offer Fundi bursaries they only offer Fundi student loans.
Student Loan from banks
All major South African banks offer student loans to South Africans with valid study permits. This includes Absa, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank and Standard bank.
MANATI offers student loans with low interest rates so that paying your fees isn't something to stress about. This is made possible through unique partnerships with universities, colleges, corporates and government.
Don't let financial constraints hinder your academic ambitions, there are many funding options available if you want to study Commerce. Head to our Latest Bursaries page to view some bursaries on offer now.