Are you looking for ways to fund your studies? Perhaps an academic bursary is the answer to your financial worries. While financial grants are not easy to come by, it is worth every penny. Academic bursaries can be found in almost every field of study from engineering to journalism. These bursaries can be sponsored by private companies, universities or government departments. The number of bursaries made available by each entity varies. Companies in a particular sector are more likely to fund study programmes in that sector.
If you’ve been looking for funding for your studies, you may have come across the the term NSFAS. You may be wondering: what is NSFAS? Let’s take a look at what NSFAS is and what it can do for you.
NSFAS: What is NSFAS?
NSFAS, or National Student Financial Aid Scheme, was established according to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Act of 1999 and incorporated Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA), which stopped operating in 2000.
Obtaining a bursary gets harder each year as more students compete for the same opportunities. While there is no way to guarantee that you are selected there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances. Apply early Don't wait till you reach your matric year to look for financial aid opportunities. By the time you enter Grade 10 you should have started to think seriously about potential careers. Research which higher education institutions offer study programmes that correspond with your career choice.
In all the news surrounding tertiary education and university fees, a term that comes up often is the 'missing middle'. But what is the missing middle? Who are these people and what does it mean to be part of the missing middle?
Simply put, the missing middle are those too poor to avoid university themselves but also not poor enough to qualify for government funding. In order to qualify for NSFAS, your household income needs to be below R120 000 per year and, while this is great for the disadvantaged, the middle class is underserved by this system.
You may have read recently that NSFAS would be changing the way applications worked. The organisation has adopted what they call a Student Centered Model, completely overhauling the applications system. So what does this mean for you?
NSFAS: What is the Student Centered Model?
The idea behind the Student Centered Model is that students will no longer apply for financial aid through their colleges or universities. Instead, students apply directly to NSFAS and bursaries are awarded after an evaluation of the application.