All you need to know about bursary applications

woman with a book and pen.

Applying for a bursary can be a bit complicated. Here is all you need to know. Photo by from Pexels

Published Oct 15, 2021


The struggle to secure funding for higher education has landed most students standing in unemployment queues trying to get a job while others keep their eyes out for bursary opportunities.

For those who have a great academic record, but are financially unable to foot the bill for your tuition, a bursary may be the best way of securing that funding. Bursaries are often awarded to matric learners who will be pursuing qualifications at universities or colleges the following year. They are also awarded to university or college students who are already in their undergraduate post-graduate.

Who qualifies for a bursary:

While different bursary programmes are aimed at different students for certain career paths or qualifications, there are often a few general standard requirements.

  • Some require that you be a South African citizen.
  • Are in matric or have passed your matric
  • Strong academic record, different bursaries look for certain standards of pass rates than others in different subjects.
  • Must be studying or have applied to study at a South African recognised university or college.
  • You must prove financial need

What is needed to apply:

  • A certified copy of your South African identity document.
  • A certified copy of your academic records.
  • Proof of tertiary registration with letterhead.
  • Proof of household income (parents’/guardians’ payslip)
  • Proof of residence (for bursaries that cover certain regions only).

Are you required to pay back the funding in cash?

No, some bursaries may say that you have to work for the company after graduating for a certain period only.

What does a bursary cover?

According to the online bursary platform ZA Bursaries, the bursaries vary in what they may cover. Some cover full tuition and living expenses such as accommodation, transportation, textbooks and laptops while others cover tuition only.

How do I know the bursary is a scam?

  • If you are required to pay money to submit a bursary application.
  • If you have to submit your application to a free email account, like Gmail, yahoo, hotmail. There should be an official company email address.