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Bursary Application

In order to apply for a bursary you need to have high school marks (at least 60% or higher), and the required subjects. Each bursary is different, so make sure you check their requirements. Even though some organisations will offer bursaries based on financial need, they will also consider your academic progress. You will need to apply to and be accepted at an institution, and in some cases, you will require South African citizenship.

So, how do you go about applying for a bursary? Take a look at the diagram to get you started, and then read more about each step.

Bursary Application Process


Bursary Application Steps

1. Good School Marks

  • School marks are an important part of getting a bursary, so work hard in Grade 11 and 12.
  • Try to keep your average in all subjects above 65%
2. Apply Early the Year Before You Want to Study
  • Apply for your bursary early in Grade 12, if you want to study the following year.
  • Applications close anytime between April and August, so make sure you apply in plenty of time.
3. Search for Information
  • Search for companies offering bursaries by using this guide, the internet or newspapers.
  • Gather all the details of companies offering bursaries in your area of study.
4. Get an Application Form
  • For some companies, you need to write a letter to get a bursary application form (see the example at the end of this guide).
  • For other companies, you can download the information online, or send through an e-mail.
  • Once you have the form, note the following:
    • Criteria for the bursary (check again to see if  you meet their requirements)
    • Opening and closing dates for applications
    • Information and documents required
5. Collect your Information & Documents
  • Prepare all the information that may be needed on yourself, your family, financial circumstances and studies.
  • Common documents that are required are:
    • Photocopy of ID
    • Academic records for Grade 11 and/or 12
    • Passport photograph
6. Complete and Send in your Application
  • Complete all the areas of the application form carefully. You might want to prepare your answers on a separate piece of paper before copying them onto the form.
  • Provide exactly the required documentation (nothing less, nothing more).
  • If there is no space for a motivation, then you can provide a motivational letter (see example at the end of this brochure).
  • Post or e-mail your application to the correct address (or complete it online) well ahead of time, and remember to also provide your correct contact details as requested.
  • Keep a copy of your application form as you might be asked about it at your interview. If you fill your form out online, then print out a copy.
7. Apply for a Number of Bursaries
  • Competition for bursaries is tough, and thousands of people apply. Therefore, apply for a number of bursaries to increase your chances.
8. Apply to University
  • Applying for a bursary is a separate process to applying for a bursary.
  • Apply to a few universities before their closing deadlines, as competition for places is tough.
  • The degree that you are applying for a bursary to study, should be the same as the degree you have applied for at University.
9. Shortlisting and Acceptance
  • While it is reasonable to check if your application has been received, it is best to wait patiently for news on the bursary.
  • Applications will be shortlisted to a few candidates, and you might be invited for an interview or an aptitude test.
  • If you are successful, then conditional acceptance (based on your final marks) will be granted.
  • After you've matriculated, send through a certified copy of your final grade 12 marks, to prove that you have achieved the final results.
  • You will then get a Bursary Confirmation Letter to register at their approved institution. Before signing the bursary contract, please take time to read and understand the terms and conditions as most of them are binding.
10. No bursary? Look at Alternative Options
  • Many companies simply do not respond if you don't receive a bursary.
  • If you do not get a bursary, consider applying for a NSFAS loan (explained in this brochure), or explore the other funding options available to you. Remember that you may be able to apply for certain bursaries once you have passed a year of university.

Bursary Application Letter