Do you want to study but don’t have the moola? Check out how you can apply for financial aid and what it’s all about in this article.
It can be hard to find funding. We get you. If you are not in the financial position to pay for your studies, Financial Aid is ample at many of the bigger institutions. You can be eligible for financial aid for a variety of things- primarily of course, if you are not in a financial position to pay for your fees. But there are also financial aid options for people who have excelled in previous studies or academics. To find out whether you are eligible for this aid, you will have to make a stop at your institution’s financial aid office, as details differ from varsity to varsity.
Financial aid for sport or academics comes in the form of grants (usually up to R10 000 off your fees, subject to certain achievements in academics/sport). You will usually be notified of your eligibility for these by email if you have already been accepted to an institution, but you can also apply if you were originally overlooked, so visit the FA office!
If you are genuinely in need of financial aid for the obvious reason (lack of funding), you would be crazy not to apply. Our government needs quality grads coming through the system, and they hand out money where it is needed. To qualify, you will need to prove that your family earns below a certain amount, or otherwise that money is tied up and hence inaccessible. This means providing pay slips, bank statements, details of everything from investments to cars to property and even to jewellery. Some people get turned away by this, as they do not feel comfortable divulging this information. We can assure you that the varsities do keep this info in strictest confidence, but all the same it can be disconcerting to divulge it.
Some things to note:
- Remember to check on the due dates for applications way in advance, as closing dates are usually very early in the year (ordinarily the October of the prior year, and sometimes even March!).
- Financial aid is generally available to people of colour over white people. However it is not the sole deciding factor and there are many white people who do receive financial aid.
- Financial aid does not have to be repaid after varsity- they just give it to you.
FYI: If you'd like information on the financial aid processes at specific institutions you can find it in this article.