The quality of life of the citizens of a nation is determined by how much the nation invests in education. A nation who has a high level of literacy is more driven towards accomplishing its national goals than one where majority of its citizen lack access to good education.
Sometimes, citizens might be willing to get educated but the high cost of getting educated might be a daunting challenge. In South Africa, citizens enjoy quality education more than other countries on the African continent.
South Africans also have access to free education, but in recent times, there have been less information about this scheme due to the fact most students are not aware they can be sponsored to get through school with bursary. And those who do don’t know how to access this sponsorship.
Even those that are aware and have access to bursary can’t meet up with the requirements. This post will guide you on how you can access free education in SA.
Getting a bursary from a college in South Africa
Once you meet the requirements of your choice institution, and you approach the bursary for funds, you will be met with two options. The first demands that you work back bursary.
This implies that you are expected to work or help out in some way as repayment for your school fees waiver. The second is that, you will be trained on your academic performance.
This means that the institution will only train you when you are among the best in your study area, and they would either want to retain you or continue research in your field.
Decide which of these options is best for you. When you do, you will be informed as to what bursary covers for free education.
Often times, it covers: Tuition fees, Examination fees, prescribed books and other study materials, meals, accommodation, travel allowance and sometimes a laptop
National Student Financial Aid Scheme
This is one of the first places where students look when searching for a bursary. The NSFAS fund is used to cater for costs such as books, tuition fees, accommodation, and travel allowances. NSFAS loans must be fully repaid after your graduation.
The good thing is that the body will only ask you to repay once you are gainfully employed with a salary of at least R30, 000 per annum. If you are a TVET college student, you won’t have to pay back the bursary you got from the government.
Getting NSFAS funding as a student
To apply for NSFAS scheme, you have to meet the following requirements:
You must be a South African Citizen
You must come from a family that earns less than R350,000 per year
You must have passed grade 9 and 10 to get sponsorship to a TVET college
You must have passed Matric if you want university funding
Students who do not meet the above requirements are not eligible to receive funding. Also, those who have previously applied for and received funding should not apply a second time.
Again, anyone who has graduated from one tertiary institution or the other will not have access to bursary.
You can apply for bursary in three ways: visit any NYDA center close to you and follow the registration process they will give. Or apply online on the NSFAS website.
You can also visit any financial aid center on campus.
The new bursary scheme which was introduced in 2018 ensures that all students, and not only those in TVET institutions, can apply for and receive university education funding. NSFAs are still implementing the scheme, and the first batch of beneficiaries received theirs in 2019.