5 Ways To Fund Your Own Studies

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Are you running putting your studies on hold simply because you cannot afford to pay for it? Looking for ways to fund your studies can be one of the most stressful parts of university, but there are many options for students who are not financially able to fund their own studies. 

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5 Types of Funding Available For Higher Education in South Africa

One of our readers had to write this assignment - Mention and explain three forms of financial assistance for a student in higher education institutions - so we thought we'd help them out. We hope this article helps you too! Here are the funding options available now.

Student loan

Most banks across South Africa offer student loans. To qualify though, you need to earn a certain amount or have your parents sign as your surety.  Student loans are not free and you’ll have to pay back the loan as well as the interest. Student loans are offered by all the major banks, as well as credit providers.

Bank loan

This option is ideal for short-term or part-time studies. Once the bank loan is approved, the money is allocated to you. It’s your responsibility to pay the fees and buy study materials. Seeking financial aid to support your studies from banks and other financial institutions means you will have to pay it back, typically within a few years after you graduate.

Financial Aid

Most of the universities in South Africa offer financial aid to students who are unable to fund their own studies and/or have achieved excellent academic results. If you consider this option, it is important that you contact the university’s financial aid office to enquire about their financial aid requirements.


A bursary will give you a peace of mind, but requires that you maintain a certain standard of results in order to qualify. If you find a company bursary, you might have to work for them after completing your study programme. It is important to do your research on bursary options out there and review all the requirements thereof. There is no limit to the number of bursaries you can apply for, so it’s best to apply for as many as possible that align with your interests and would fulfil your needs.

Check out our bursary options here.


This form of financial aid is awarded to deserving students based on their achievements and merit criteria they have met. You can receive a scholarship if you exceed a company’s criteria of excellence. There is such a wide range of scholarships out there, that we can confidently say that there's a scholarship for everyone. Scholarships are not paid back like a bank loan.

Check out our scholarship options here.

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Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP)

Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) is a Support and Funding model for financially needy South African students that fall under the categories of "poor" and "missing middle" students. 

These students in financial need are in a position where they do not qualify for NSFAS, but are not able to fund their studies themselves. The bursary is for students in South Africa with a household income between R350 000 and R600 000 per annum.

The bursary covers the full costs of study including study material, tuition fees, accommodation and sometimes pocket money for living expenses.


Feenix is a student programme that uses the process of crowdfunding to help students fund their tertiary education. They assist students with avoiding debt that they will ultimately be left with once they have completed their studies.

Feenix is always open to donations and collaborations to help fund the students of South Africa.


Fundi is a South African Education Finance specialist. They aim to help students achieve a tertiary qualification, by covering the costs of higher education institutions through educational loans serving as financial aid.

They cover study loans, short courses, accommodation loans, executive loans, MBA funding, study device loans and educational tools. 

There are a number of requirements you will need to meet to apply and qualify for funding from Fundi.

We have just mentioned a few of the top options majority of students opt for, however there are so many ways to fund your studies in South Africa. Do not let lack of funding prevent you from pursuing your dreams.


RELATED ARTICLE: Higher Education Funding Options For Students in South Africa


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Student loans.

There are various forms of financial assistance available for those who wish to pursue tertiary education but are in need of funding to do so. Manati is one option available to students.

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