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How To Consider All The Costs Before Committing To A Tertiary Course

Deciding to get a tertiary qualification is a big commitment, both financially and in terms of the time and effort you’ll need to invest to get your degree or diploma.

Consider all the costs before committing to a tertiary course

According to a Department of Higher Education 2015 report 47.9% of South African university students do not complete their degrees.

This high drop-out rate is not only due to poor academic performance but also because many students run out of money before they graduate, even with government funding for some students.

Starting a course if you can’t afford to complete it, makes it much less likely you’ll ever go back and get the qualification.

Whether you’re able to obtain a NASFAS loan or bursary or your parents or relatives apply for a loan to help you, here are some things to think about:

Can you afford the university, technicon or college you want to attend?

You may have your sights set on a particular institution, but it’s worth doing some research. First year university fees for a BA-degree in 2017 varied from R34 254 to R49 440 – a difference of over R15 000.

Also, bear in mind that in South Africa only public institutions can call themselves universities. Private higher education institutions can offer exactly the same range of qualifications up to doctoral degree level, but may not use the term ‘university’ even though they are subject to the same regulation and quality assurance.

It’s sensible to research all the options that are available before deciding which is the best for you. You can find a list of accredited institutions on the website of the South African Qualifications Authority and follow the Qualifications and Part Qualification link. Remember, the most expensive may not always be the best option for you.

Other than tuition fees, what other costs should you consider?

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