Do you know the difference between a bursary and a student loan?
A bursary may seem like the first choice for cash strapped students but it may not always be the easiest to obtain and students need to consider all their options.
Who would benefit from a bursary or a loan?
Bursaries are generally aimed at underprivileged students and high achievers. They are designed to offer financial support to individuals who want to study full-time.
On the other hand student loans are aimed at part-time or working students who are looking to supplement their income in order to cover their college expenses.
How do applications differ?
Both bursaries and student loans will have a set of requirements that applicants must meet in order to qualify for financial aid. However these requirements may differ slightly.
Where bursary administrators may look at the student's academic performance, financial institutions are more likely to request employee payslips or bank statements.
Sponsors and government agencies often receive thousands of applications from students who are forced to compete for the limited resources available. Whereas banks or private institutions are not limited in their capacity to provide financial assistance.
What are the conditions?
Again, both options will have conditions attached to the contracts.
For example students who receive bursaries may be expected to achieve a certain academic result for the duration of their course. Or they may be required to work for the sponsor after they have completed their studies.
The conditions of a student loan are largely linked to repayment options. Students will have to agree to the terms of their repayment plan before they can access the money.
There are obligations attached to financial contracts and students need to understand the agreements they are entering into before they sign on the dotted line.