Home Funding: Frequently Asked Questions

Funding: Frequently Asked Questions

by Staff Reporter

Have you got a burning question about funding your studies?  Well, you have come to the right place!  You might just find the answers you are looking for below.

Applying for funding can be confusing.  We get it.  Finding funding is one of the main concerns when it comes to tertiary education – it can be super stressful if you don’t have all the information.  Instead of waiting for a reply to an email, take a look at the questions and answers below.  We have put together a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  You could save yourself a lot of time and worry.  Trust us.  We’ve got you 🙂

1. Is there really Free Education in South Africa?

Yes.  The former President Jacob Zuma announced that there will be fee-free education in South Africa.  Before you rush off to your closest university, there are a few requirements you need to meet:

  • this is currently only available to first-year students
  • you will need to prove that your annual household income is less than R350 000
  • you will need to meet the minimum entrance requirements as per usual (make sure you calculate your APS)

2. So, if I meet the requirements, can I still study in 2019?

The government has created a Central Application Clearing House (CACH) which will allow you to apply for tertiary studies for 2019.  Your matric marks and study preferences will be matched with the spaces still available at tertiary institutions in South Africa.  The system will take your matric results straight from the Department of Basic Education.  Please note that you CANNOT apply to a specific institution through CACH.  To use CACH, you will need to first sign up.  You can do this on their website.

3. If I meet the requirements for Free Education, will I be able to walk into an institution and register?

Walk-ins are not encouraged as many institutions are already full for the current academic year.  The best way to apply for free studies is to sign up to CACH.  From here, you will be able to see which institution you could study at based on your study choice.

4. How can I get a bursary?

Well, the best place to start your search for a bursary is on EduFundingYou will be able to browse through a range of funding opportunities and even filter your search according to your study choice.  If you would like to apply for any of the funding opportunities through EduFunding, you will just need to first register on EduFunding. This is quick, simple and free

Check out a list of 2019 bursaries that are still open. 

Find more information about how bursaries work

5. How do I register on EduFunding?

Go to the registration page To register, you will just need to fill in your first name, surname, email address (don’t have one?  Find out how to get one) and think of a password.  Please note:  Your password will need to have the following:
– one capital letter
– one number
– one special character (eg. #, @,$)
– at least eight characters

6. What do I do if I can’t sign into my EduFunding account?

Firstly, don’t panic 🙂 If it is your first time logging in, make sure that you have verified your email address (we would have sent you an email shortly after you registered). If your email address is fine, the next step is to make sure that you have entered your password correctly.  If you would like to reset your password, you have the option to do this.  Remember to create a password that follows all the above rules.  If you have done all this and still cannot sign in, you are welcome to contact us via email on funding@eduone.co.za 

7. What is the difference between a bursary and a scholarship?

There are quite a few differences between these funding options.  In general, a bursary is awarded to students who are in financial need and the student will need to work for the company or organisation after completion of their studies.  A scholarship, on the other hand, is awarded to students based purely on talent and usually, the student does not need to work-back after graduation. 

8. If I can’t get a bursary or scholarship, what are my other options?

Bursaries and scholarships are not your only funding option.  Many institutions offer financial aid to financially needy students.  Universities such as the University of Pretoria, Rhodes University, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of Cape Town all offer this funding option.  The National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is also a solid way to finance your studies.  NSFAS offers students a loan with a relatively low-interest rate.  You also have the opportunity to convert up to 40% of the loan into a bursary according to your academic performance.  Student loans from the bank is another option.  You will be able to find out everything you need to know about student loans on EduConnect.

9. I am an international student.  Can I get funding to study in South Africa?

Simple answer: yes, it is possible although it may be a challenge.  The best place to start looking for funding is in your home country.  That way, you could transfer the funding to your studies in South Africa.  Some institutions also offer funding to international students.  When applying, make sure you keep an eye out for these opportunities.  We have some specific information on how to find funding for Namibian and Nigerian students.

10. I want to study overseas.  Can I get funding?

If you would like to study abroad, there are some funding options available.  These options are mainly scholarship programmes and are awarded in the following categories: merit, subject-specific, student-specific, destination-specific and programme-specific.  Find out moreIf you don’t qualify for a scholarship, there are a few countries abroad which offer free or low cost tuition.  You can get information on these countries on this article.

11. I have outstanding study fees.  How can I pay this off?

If you are currently studying and have fees that you cannot afford to pay, you can do one of two things.  The first option is to approach the finance office at your institution and explain your situation.  They could offer you a payment plan which will allow you to repay your fees over an extended period of time.  The other option is to consider applying for a study loan.  This may sound like a terrible option but if you cannot find a sponsor to help with your repayment and the institution is unwilling to offer you an extended payment plan, you may not be allowed to continue with your studies.  Student loans are not bad if you understand the terms and conditions.  Find out everything that you need to know about study loans on EduConnect.

12. I want to study after school but I am confused with all the funding options.  Can you simplify them?

Firstly, we get you.  It is hella confusing to sort through all the available options and choose one that is best for you.  Check out our infographic which simply breaks down your funding options.

13. How can I get the EduOne bursary?

This bursary is open to anyone and everyone who can show they are ambitious and eager to initiate change.  You will be able to apply online through EduFundingPlease note that our EduOne bursary gives no preference to any demographic.  Find out all the specific requirements and application details.

14. Can I get a bursary for postgraduate studies?

Yes, you can.  Take a look around our EduFunding platform for postgraduate funding opportunities.  Quite a few tertiary institutions also offer their postgraduates funding opportunities.  The National Research Foundation (NRF) is another option – they offer funding for certain postgraduate studies.

15. Can I get funding if I will be studying at a TVET College?

If you have applied to a TVET College, the best place to look for funding is the TVET College you have applied to.  Many TVET colleges offer funding or some type of financial support to their students. The other option is to consider applying for NSFAS funding. 

16. Will I be able to get a bursary if I am studying at a private college?

Since tuition fees are generally more expensive at private colleges, it can be a challenge to find a bursary.  You are more likely to be eligible for a scholarship as a funding option.  Some private colleges offer funding to their students.  It is best to first look into the funding opportunities your chosen college offers 🙂 

17. What are the bursary requirements?

We get this question a lot.  The answer is that it depends on the bursary.  In general, you will need to submit your ID, latest academic results and proof application to a tertiary institution.  Other than that, the requirements do vary according to the funder.  This is why it is important to read through the specific requirements before submitting your bursary application.