How to get Free Education in South Africa

How to get Free Education in South Africa

Apply for Free Education and funding in South Africa

Tertiary education is very costly and unaffordable for most South Africans, but is highly necessary if you plan on entering a professional career such as Engineering, Accounting, Law, Medicine, Teaching, Science and more.

Of course there is the option to take out a student loan with one of the big 4 banks (find out more information on that here), but once students have completed their studies and have found employment, this money must be paid back (with interest). The other obstacle to taking out a student loan is that you need a parent or guardian to stand surety for you.

There is however another option for students who are in financial need but wish to pursue their tertiary studies, two means to free education:

1) Bursaries

Bursaries are monetary awards granted by private organisations, government departments and study institutions. They are granted based on either academic performance or financial need (and sometimes both).

These awards generally require students to “work back” the bursary award by taking up employment at the funding company once they have graduated.
Coverage will differ between each bursary programme, but typically includes tuition fees, registration fees, examination fees, prescribed books and study materials, accommodation, meals, travel allowance and sometimes even a laptop computer.

Apart from the financial aspect of the bursary award, many bursary providers also provide students with mentors, vacation work and practical on-the-job training.

SA Bursaries has made it easy for students to access bursary opportunities and submit online bursary applications.

(If you would like to find out which bursary awards are available for your field of study, find more information here)

2) NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) Funding

NSFAS is a student bursary and loan scheme implemented and managed by the South African government and funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The funding is used to cover tuition fees, books, accommodation, food and travel allowances. NSFAS loans must be repaid when students have graduated from College or University and are permanently employed with a minimum salary of R30 000 per annum. TVET College students are not required to pay back their loan, it becomes a bursary.
Students who wish to apply for NSFAS funding must have South African citizenship, must be able to prove financial need by way of the NSFAS means test (except those currently receiving SASSA grants), must have applied or intend on applying for studies at a TVET College or public University and must have a good academic record.

TVET College applicants should have passed Grades 9, 10, 11 or Matric, whereas University students should have passed Matric to apply.

Students who are orphaned or have unemployed parents may also be eligible to apply, as well as students from no-fee schools.

(If you would like to find out more about NSFAS and how to apply, find more information here)