So you’ve made it into university or college; you’re so excited and can’t wait to get started, however it hits you how will you pay your university tuition.

I know it seems like everyone always says there are so many bursaries out there and there really is, you just have to know where to look for it.

My first few years of university was something that luckily my parents could afford since it wasn’t too expensive. But remember each course is different and therefore costs can vary. In my final year of university, my university fees more than doubled so I knew I needed help with my fees.

My class representative at the time informed me of the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) bursary. According to the Career Wise website, “SETA bursaries are offered on the basis of academic merit, proof of registration in a scarce skills discipline and financial need.”

I immediately applied for the SETA bursary because I knew getting funding was a priority for me. I’m so glad I applied because I got the bursary; it covered my fees and some extra money that could have been used for residence, transport or food costs.

The truth is getting into a tertiary institution is expensive for many reasons. Not only do you have to think about the tuition fees itself, you also have to think about transport costs, food, textbooks and even clothes.

Another major source of funding is of course NSFAS. When Busi first arrived in varsity she had no idea how NSFAS worked, she says she thought it was just about filling a form and that’s it. But no, depending on the institution you choose to go to, be sure to read the required documents carefully. From the police certification to having proof that your parents are married or single and unemployed. It can be especially hard for those who have parents that are no longer together, as sometimes they require you to prove that as well.

With NSFAS, make sure you have your matric results if you are a grade 12 learner, if you’ve been to college or varsity submit your marks. Nowadays you apply online so don’t overlook all the documents that is required from you, but the requirement for NSFAS has always been for the underprivileged students who can pass at least at 50% in all their subjects. They will look into you, so if your parents can afford to pay I advise you to let those who need the money the most apply.

I have been recently looking into teaching bursaries, I’m hoping to further my studies in teaching, and a popular one that showed up is the Funza Lushaka bursary. It’s pretty simple to sign up on the government website, just make sure to follow all the steps and to read carefully.

Please be aware that there are so many bursaries out there and for all types of career fields. For instance, if you’re studying engineering, then refer to engineering or science bursaries.

We unfortunately can’t make a huge list for all the bursaries available, however here is a link for Bursaries South Africa to help you find bursaries in your respective study fields. I have used this link countless times before and it has been a real help. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for anything out there. Make time to search for bursaries, ask friends and family for bursaries that they might know of that you might have missed.

Don’t give up when looking for a way to fund your education. There are so many opportunities out there. All the best!


Read more here on the university application process

Tell us: Do you know of any potential bursaries to help someone out?