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How To Apply For A Student Bursary


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Many students do not realise how much university actually costs aside from the learning material, transport costs, accommodation and living expenses. A bursary is a monetary reward from an institution to a student based on their academic performances and personal circumstances. The main aim of a bursary is to reduce the financial constraints or avoid them altogether. There are many different types of bursaries available and the student is not always required to apply for them.

Why Are Bursaries Beneficial?

The aim of a bursary is to provide funding to students to cover all their university finances. A bursary is there to help address some of the concerns of a student who is not able to fully finance their studies. There are strict conditions that students need to abide by. A bursary will often indicate how the funds that are rewarded to you should be spent. The benefactor can either pay for your full course of study or pay half of your tuition fees. Bursaries differ depending on the requirements and the support from the benefactor. For example, benefactors may pay for your learning materials, transport, residence fees and may provide you with an allowance.  


Although a bursary is a monetary reward, a student's appreciation does not have to be repaid in the form of money. However, some sponsors require you to pay back by means of committing to work at your benefactor's company for a period of time. This is usually the same amount of time that the bursary has been given for. 

How To Apply For A Bursary

Find out if the institution offers a bursary:

Not all educational institutions offer students financial relief funding. One way to find out is to directly contact the institution admissions office or visit their website for more information. If you are planning to solely rely on the bursary to pay for your studies, it would be ideal to research and apply to multiple institutions to increase your chances of being approved.

Apply to institutions of your choice:

Once you have identified institutions that offer financial assistance, your next step is to submit a formal letter of application. Bursaries are only given to students from age 16 upwards that have enrolled or begun the application process and waiting for a response. When applying, the following documentation needs to be certified:

  • ID document
  • Latest academic record
  • Proof of tertiary application and acceptance
  • Additional documentation required; such as your parents or guardians proof of income, proof of residence and ID 

Research the usual requirements:

Each bursary requirements differ from institution to institution or program to program. The final decision will be based on the level of income and affordability. The benefactors total expenses are dependent on factors such as:

  • Field of study
  • Duration of the course 
  • Academic achievements 
  • Area of residence 

Await the status of your application:

Once you have submitted all the relevant documentation, your application will be reviewed and will determine whether your application has been approved or denied. Students that have been shortlisted will receive feedback either in the form of an email, SMS, or call. This feedback process may take weeks or up to months for someone to get back to you. Once you have been informed, the candidate is required to attend an interview before the final decision is made. 

With all the above-mentioned factors, this is how students that are in need of financial assistance can apply for a student bursary. 

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