Open my info

my finds

remove bookmarks
    You don't have any bookmarks saved. Click the star icon on a panel to add it to your bookmarks. Your bookmark has been saved. Bookmark removed.

    bank better, live better

    ways to pay for your tertiary studies

    Few South African families can afford university fees without financial assistance. We look at the costs and some of the routes you could follow to cover them.

    Ways to pay for tertiary studies

    “I was stressing. I mean, how do you say no to your child’s dreams?” Johannesburg resident Chumani Mphalala recalls. It was 2015 and his daughter, Olona Bodlo, who had always been a dedicated and hard-working student, had just been accepted at university. She wanted to attend the University of Johannesburg to pursue a degree in public relations more than anything but money was tight. 

    “I applied for loans, but I was worried about high interest rates. I didn’t want to take credit that would set me back financially,” explains Mphalala. He feared that monthly repayments based on high interest would compromise the family financially in the long-term.

    Unfortunately, Mphalala’s story is one of many in South Africa. Despite government’s intervention in trying to keep university fees low, the combined costs of tertiary education remain overwhelming.

    Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Capitec approved Mphalala’s loan application instantly, thanks to his good credit record. “I was offered a low interest rate of 14.3%.” says Mphalala. “It meant I could help Olona realise her dreams.”  As a result of the low interest loan, Olona is currently set to complete her 3rd year and graduate at the end of 2018. You can watch her full story ​here.

    Tuition costs, accommodation, textbooks, meals, transport and pocket money all add up quickly. Below is a breakdown of estimated tertiary education costs per year. (Costs vary depending on where and what you choose to study.)

    A good education is a great investment. Whether for a friend, family member or yourself, here are different ways to pay for tertiary education: 

    Distance/online studies 

    If money is tight and you need to cut costs, it is worth looking at distance learning options or short online courses. You can then improve your skills and qualifications in a way that’s affordable to you and your family. If you are a distance learner, you can also apply for a paid internship with a respectable company in your chosen field of study. The University of South Africa (Unisa) is one of Africa’s most successful and respected distance learning institutions.

    Part-time job 

    Having a part-time job can relieve some of your financial stress. Check campus noticeboards and websites like Rent-a-Student for ways to make money. Universities also offer work opportunities such as tutoring or admin assistants. Waitering has traditionally been a favoured choice for students. It allows for flexible shifts so that one’s studies are not compromised. 

    Government aid  

    The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides financial assistance to students with academic potential who don’t have other bursary options. While some of your loan must be paid back, a large portion will be converted into a bursary if you maintain good academic results.

    University bursaries 

    Most universities offer high academic performers or sporting and cultural achievers bursaries that help cover the costs of study. Contact any university’s financial aid officer – they will be able to give you a list of the financial aid available and answer any questions that you might have.

    Bank loans 

    If you are employed on a full time basis, credit can be a powerful tool to realise your dreams by furthering your studies. Capitec offers credit from as low as 12.9%. Get up to R250 000 over 1 – 84 months. The money is available immediately. Learn more.

    Was this article helpful?

    Boost Your Career With Online Courses

    boost your career with online courses

    Want to take your career to the next level? Get R4 000 off online short courses from top universities with GetSmarter and Capitec’s Live Better Benefits. We checked in with some of our clients who used this benefit to improve their careers.

    Read now
    Give Yourself The Edge With Education

    give yourself the edge with education

    Educate24 offers affordable options to learn and develop skills online. As a Capitec client, you get a 50% discount on more than 85 courses, from project management to customer service, which you can complete in your own time.

    Read now
    Final Steps To Studying Further

    final steps to studying further

    Balancing your studies with other commitments such as work and family can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

    Read now
    What To Know Before Studying Further

    what to know before studying further

    In the first article of this 3-part series, we helped you figure out how much money you can afford to spend on your studies each month and how much time you will need. Now it’s time to explore your study options.

    Read now