Ricochet News

6 ways you can pay to further your education

Apr 16, 2020
6 ways you can pay to further your education

Port Elizabeth - When you were younger, you might have dreamed of being a doctor, pilot, lawyer or teacher when you grow up. But, the sad reality sinks in when you become an adult and realise the cost of higher education.

That can be disheartening, especially if you come from a middle to a low-income household that cannot afford your higher tertiary education.

Unfortunately, this is a problem many South Africans face. However, as expensive as higher education is in South Africa, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, you no longer have to sit back and watch your dreams and life pass you by because of the financial situation you were born into. Because there are six alternatives to take that can help you afford to go to university or college. Allowing you the opportunities to become whomever you dreamt of being as a child.

So, if you’re planning on studying in the future, take a look at your options that can help you secure your future.

Student loans

So, the obvious option for young adults to pay for your fees would be applying for a student loan. There are many reputable financial service providers in South Africa which can offer individuals a loan amount for the duration of their studies. The student loan usually includes your tuition fees, accommodation, books and anything else that’s school-related.

To qualify for a student loan, you’ll need your Grade 12 matric certificate that proves you qualify to study at the tertiary institution. You’ll also need to show the lender proof that you’ve been accepted at the tertiary institution of your choice. In most cases, to get approved for a student loan, your parents or legal guardian will need to sign the agreement stating that you will start your monthly repayments once you complete your studies.

Personal loan

Many people don’t consider personal loans when looking for funding for their qualification. But, personal loans can be helpful when in need of money, even to pay off your studies. This is especially the case if you wish to study part-time or do a short course, as student loans won’t cover the expenses. But there are many lenders who can offer personal loans for education in South Africa.

Personal loans in South Africa can be used for multiple things, so why not use them to get an education. And, it’s understandable if you feel disheartened about going into debt at such a young age to afford education - especially when you’ve barely started your life.

However, always remember that your education is an investment to yourself. So, as much as you are going into debt, it’s still good debt that will help you accumulate more money in the future. This is especially the case if you cannot continue with your studies because of your financial situation. So, shop around and take a look at lenders’ websites before applying for a personal loan.

Most websites will have personal loan repayment calculators which will help you see; which lenders have a better offer, what you might pay back over time and the interest rate of your loan. And, on the plus side, all this can be done in the comfort of your own home because you can access online loan applications easily. And, on that note, when applying for a big or small loan online,make sure it’s from a registered credit provider to avoid any fraudulent activities.


Many people are unsure what the difference is between bursaries and scholarships. Well, let’s start with a bursary. A bursary exempts you from paying any tuition related costs. Bursaries are either given by wealthy individuals or organisations which can afford to pay for someone’s studies.

When applying for a bursary, make sure you check to see what is required of you. Others may want you to get a certain aggregate at school, or they might want you to work for the organisation while you’re studying. Keep in mind that bursaries and scholarships are looking for top achieving students. So, it may be restrictive.


Unlike with a bursary, a scholarship doesn’t have any obligation that you’re required to fulfil apart from doing well in your academics. Scholarships are most offered by charitable organisations, and they award scholarships to individuals who are in financial need of it. Also, for those who’s academics speak for themselves - showing that they’re deserving of a scholarship.

Again when applying for a scholarship, make sure you have exceptional grades, you’ve read the requirements and terms and conditions. And, more importantly, make sure you apply on time as they usually have a deadline, and it is competitive; first come first serve basis.

University financial aid

Many universities have a financial aid on campus where you can apply for funding. The funding will mostly cover the cost of tuition, books and accommodation. You will need to be sure of what they entail before you apply and see if they offer enough to cover your studies.

This is especially important if your tuition fees are overpriced. For example, you can apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). NSFAS is the financial aid you can receive when you enrol at a public institution. The aid scheme is mostly given to students who come from a disadvantaged background.

For instance, if there is one source of income in your home; you live with grandparents, or the annual amount, both your parents combine fits their criteria. This, unlike a scholarship or bursary, does not have limited space or it depends on academic merit. However, if you get good marks, it can become a bursary. Bear in mind that the university or NSFAS don’t have to accept you, so it’s important to keep your options open.

Get a part-time job

If getting into debt still makes you sceptical or you want to have a lower monthly instalment from your cash loan, then you can get a part-time job that can help you cover costs. Unfortunately, it may be hard finding a weekend or evening job that will pay you enough money to cover accommodation, fees and your textbooks.

But, it can lower the amount you need to repay from your loan. Allowing you to settle the balance faster. Or, you can get a smaller loan amount then use your part-time salary to cover travelling costs and textbooks that you’ll need. Or, if you have a permanent job, another alternative is studying through distance learning. Distance learning has many benefits;

  • You can continue to work while studying, allowing you to pay for your tuition.
  • You can learn at your own pace.
  • You can study and learn in the comfort of your own home.

Final thoughts

Going to tertiary opens up many doors for you, and it is a great opportunity. Everyone should be able to study what they want regardless of the costs. Fortunately, now there is more than one viable option for you to achieve those dreams. So, take a moment and decide which one from the six best works for you and go chase your dreams.

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