The University of Cape Town. File picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - Applicants accepted to the University of Cape Town will be guaranteed financial aid if they apply and qualify for aid.

“As part of UCT’s commitment to helping financially needy students pursue their academic goals, and ultimately contribute meaningfully to the South African economy, the university has guaranteed that every individual who applies for both admission and financial aid, and gets an academic offer, will be assisted financially if they meet certain eligibility criteria,” it said in a statement.

The most financially needy students enrolled at UCT could pay as little as R1 100 or less towards their cost of study each year, bringing the cost of education significantly down for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

Determined prior to enrollment each year, qualifying criteria for financial aid included that applicants be South African citizens or permanent residents (conditions apply), they should be pursuing their first undergraduate qualification, their financial circumstances should make them eligible for funding, and the applicant should not be under administrative order.

“Additionally, students beyond first year must have passed at least half of their courses in the previous year to be eligible for continued financial aid,” the university said.

Applications for 2016 undergraduate study at UCT were due on Wednesday, September 30, for all undergraduate programmes, and potential applicants should note that no late applications would be accepted. The deadline for financial assistance applications was October 31.

“However, it is not just the submission of an application that should merit careful consideration. Potential UCT applicants are advised to put time and effort into their choice of degree or diploma, as a change in course at a later stage will cost a student both time and funds.”

UCT Director of Admissions Carl Herman said in the statement the choice of study programme was very important. “We advise senior learners in grades 11 and 12 to do as much research as possible into the programmes available and how they are suited to these programmes ahead of being admitted or in applying for admission; that’s a very key step.”

With waiting for results always an issue during a matric year, the university had ensured that pupils wanting to apply for admission need not wait for their end-of-year school results when applying to UCT. The university would allow applicants to include school results from grade 11 final results through to grade 12, including all term results.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate applications carried an application fee, which varied from region to region. South Africa and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries’ application fees were R100, while undergraduate and postgraduate application fees from outside the SADC region came in at R300 per application.

Postgraduate applicants should note that criteria for admission to postgraduate diplomas and honours, masters, and doctoral degrees, varied from one programme to another.

“Prospective applicants are advised to consult the faculty concerned directly, in order to determine the requirements for admission.”