Here Are The Most Popular Bursaries Offered In South Africa


With the cost of tertiary education in South Africa always increasing, students apply for bursaries each year in the hopes of securing funding to pay their tuition fees. Prospective students are always advised to look out for any funding opportunities.


A bursary is a form of financial aid provided to deserving students, which normally pays their tuition fees and some cost related to their studies. 

Some bursaries many provide students several allowances including transport and accommodation, while other bursaries may only cover a percentage of a student's tuition fees.

Every year South African companies, associations and government departments open up bursaries opportunities to fund tertiary studies for students who need funding.

Here are some of the top bursaries in the country

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

This is a government-funded bursary scheme providing financial assistance to academically deserving and financially needy students throughout the country. 

Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP)

If you are planning on studying further and you need a bursary, you should definitely check out the bursary offered by the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP). 

The ISFAP bursary covers your tuition fees, accommodation, food, learning materials such as your calculator and textbooks, a living allowance and pocket money. They also provide non-academic student support in the form of a project manage being available to support you, tutorial support, life support, admin support, life skills training as well as staff mentors.

Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship

The foundation offers a comprehensive fellowship programme that provides financial support for high school learners and university students.

TETA Bursary

This bursary is available for various fields of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications within the Transport sector and related fields.

Thuthuka Bursary

Offered by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, (SAICA) this programme provides financial support, mentoring, and academic enrichment for students aspiring to become Chartered Accountants.

Sasol Bursary Scheme

Sasol offers bursaries to students who demonstrate academic potential and financial need in various fields, including Engineering, Science, Accounting, and more.  

Investec Bank CSI Bursary

Investec provides financial aid to students from low-income backgrounds who demonstrate academic excellence and are pursuing degrees in Commerce, Engineering, Computer Science, or Information Technology.

Anglo American Platinum Bursary

This bursary supports students interested in pursuing careers in the mining industry. It is awarded based on academic merit and financial need.

The South African Reserve Bank Bursary Scheme

This bursary scheme offers bursaries to students pursuing studies in fields relevant to the Reserve Bank's functions, such as Economics, Finance, and Accounting.

Shoprite Bursary

The bursary provides financial support to African students who are pursuing a Accounting Data Science, Food Science, Information Systems, Pharmacy, Retail Business Management, Supply Chain & Logistics and UI Design (Product Design).

Old Mutual Education Trust Bursary

The Old Mutual Education Trust provides financial assistance to South African students studying in the fields of Accounting, Actuarial Science, and other related areas.

Avoid Making Mistakes During Your Application

Mistakes can easily be made if you are unaware of certain problem areas. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to possible errors before completing and submitting your bursary application. 

Here are a few mistakes you should avoid making during your application:

  • Starting Research Too Late - The best strategy is to start researching relevant bursaries well in advance of your intended study date (a full year ahead if possible), and then create a schedule so you can organize your workload and prioritize the most urgent submissions.
  • Missing Deadlines - Missing deadlines is one of the most common mistakes you can make when applying for a bursary. Have reminders set that will notify you on when certain application deadlines are coming up so that you complete it in time.
  • Ignoring instructions - This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid. Pay attention to the questions in the application, the questions will contain a lot of information that is vital to your success.
  • Ignoring Bursary Requirements - There are various bursary requirements put forward by many sponsors or institutions. Be sure to carefully read through the requirements and only apply to bursaries or which you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Leaving an Application Incomplete - When working on an application, it’s easy to accidentally miss a question or forget to upload a document especially for scholarships with several requirements. 
  • Don’t forget to proofread – Whether you agree with it or not, people tend to discount writing that has spelling and/or grammatical errors. This is why reading over your submission is highly important.
  • Failing to answer essay questions – One of the most common bursary application mistakes – and one that will really limit your chances of success – is failing to complete the bursary essay question. 
  • Uploading files that are incompatible - Ideally, bursary providers will specify the type of file to use when uploading attachments, e.g., word document, pdf, etc. If they do, make sure you follow it, or you run the risk of having your application being overlooked because the file is incompatible.

Bursaries offer many advantages to students. One of the main benefits of obtaining a bursary is that students will have the chance to finish their education without having to pay for it.

A bursary could cover either half or all your study and registration fees. Additional expenses usually covered by bursaries include, transport fees, housing, study material and living expenses. 

Find the latest bursaries, how to apply for bursaries and any other information you need on bursaries on our website.

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