Now that you have pre-registered and probably been accepted by your chosen tertiary institution it’s now time to consider how you will be paying for your education.

The cost of tertiary education is quite high in South Africa, with fees ranging from R36 650 for a BA (Bachelor of Arts) qualification to R61 220 for BEng (Bachelor of Science/Engineering) degree per annum depending on the institution

That’s why we’ve taken a look at the financial institutions offering bursaries and other financial aid for 2019.

In South Africa we have a handful of government bursaries, external bursaries and study loans available, as well as university financial aid programmes. These institutions are willing to assist you in your chosen field of study, if you meet certain application criteria.

Government Funding

National Department of Social Development

This bursary is intended for those who are pursuing studies towards a career in social work. It covers tuition, registration prescribed books and accommodation at any chosen public university. Applications close 31st October.


The Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET) offers a bursary to those who are pursuing studies in accounting and finance related fields. It covers all related study expenses. Applications are open all year round.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is offering bursaries to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who are studying within the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sector. It covers for tuition, prescribed books, accommodation, meals and a monthly allowance. Postgraduate students they will receive a monthly allowance and be appointed mentor. Applications close 30th September 2018.

Department of Mineral Resources 

This bursary is only open to female learners from rural areas who are studying in mining related fields. Applications close 31st October 2018.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Offers financial aid to students at public TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training)colleges and public universities. It identifies students who are eligible for the bursary from low-income families who would otherwise not be able to afford to study. Applications for NSFAS close on 30th November 2018.

The Funza Lushaka

This bursary is best suited for students who want to complete a teaching qualification in any area of national priority. Recipients are required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary. Applications close on 11th January 2019.

External bursaries

Sun international

This bursary will be awarded to students who are studying towards a hospitality and leisure sector. Applications close 30th September annually.

AVI Limited

This bursary is awarded to students who are studying towards these three categories:

Engineering and commerce (degree students)
Engineering and food technology (diploma studies)
TVET college study programmes (FET colleges)

Applications close 30th September annually.

South African Medical Association

Offers financial aid to students studying towards a qualification in medical field.  Applications close 30th September annually.

Group Five

This bursary is open to students who are studying towards a career in the following categories:

Civil engineering (BSc/BTech)
Electrical engineering (BSc/BTech)
Electrical engineering (BSc/BTech)
Quantity surveying (BSc/BTech)
Construction management (BSc/BTech)
Construction and related disciplines (National Diploma)

Applications close on the 30th September annually.


This bursary is open to students who are studying towards these three qualifications:

Chemical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Recipients will be awarded with R25 000 annually towards their tuition. Applications close on the 30th September annually.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)

Offering students who are studying towards technical courses and qualifications in operation and engineering. This bursary covers for registration fees, tuition, prescribed books, accommodation and meals on campus. Applications close 30th September annually.

Arup Education Trust

For students with strong academic merit but lacking financial funding, studying within the built environment field. Applications close 30th September annually.

Student loans

Financial institutions will lend students the money to pay for their studies, they will then be required to pay the interest while they are studying and pay back the capital once they have graduated.

These are the five institutions that will assist in students loans:

Standard Bank

University financial aid

Universities also offer financial aids to students who are attending at their institutions.

These are the universities that have their own financial aid:

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)
Durban University of Technology (DUT)
Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT)
Nelson Mandela University
North West University (NWU)
Rhodes University
Stellenbosch University
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
University of Limpopo (UL)
University of Free State (UFS)
University of Venda (Univen)
University of Western Cape (UWC)
University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

We hope that we have made it easier to apply for the bursary you need.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]