Every bursary contract has a criteria that must be met by the prospective student in order to apply.
Requirements can include elements like location, age or academic achievement.
If you are thinking of applying for financial aid here are some common bursary requirements that you will have to meet first.
There are general bursaries and there are 'career specific' bursaries available to students. General bursaries are typically funded by government and are awarded to individuals regardless of their subject or career choice.
Career specific bursaries will only allow students who are pursuing a higher education in a particular field or profession to qualify for funding. For example Eskom may only offer financial support to students who want to continue their studies in an engineering related field. If there is a requirement benefactors will provide a list of subject or field choices as a guide.
It is common practice for the benefactor to place requirements on the applicant's nationality or current residential address. In other words students may be required to live in a certain area or possess citizenship in a certain country before they can apply for an opportunity.
The average age for eligible applicants is between 18 and 25, however every bursary contract is different. In unique cases benefactors may even overlook the age limit if the academic achievement or financial need is great.
While bursaries can be awarded for excellence, many bursaries aim to redress past injustices by providing financial aid to needy scholars. For this reason benefactors may limit access to a bursary opportunity by only accepting applicants from a specific race or economic background.
Applicants may be required to achieve a minimum percentage in a subject in order to be considered for funding. This mark can be anything from 50 to 80 percent depending on the subject or field of study. In addition selected applicants will be expected to maintain the percentage during the period of study. Students who fail to do so could lose their financial aid or be asked to repay the bursary.
Have you applied to study at a university? Some sponsors only accept applications from students who have received university admission. Make sure that you meet the entrance requirements of your selected study course and that you apply early to avoid disappoint.
As demonstrated above there are some requirements that may be out of your control like race or location but there are others, such as academic achievement, that are well within your sphere of influence.
Find out what is required and do what you can to improve your chances wherever possible.