If you are interested in a career in draughting and design, you will have reached the conclusion that you will need to register to study at the African Academy to get the best education & training available. The good news is that the gates of learning are not closed to financially needy students! South Africa is short of skilled professionals such as draughts persons and engineers, and there are companies and organizations that are willing to provide financial support to deserving students who choose a career in draughting. These are the financial aid and financial payment methods available:
Remember that it is unusual to have your studies paid for by a single fund. Most students pay for their studies through a combination of loans, bursaries, help from parents, sponsorship by companies, as well as through part-time and vacation work.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is financial assistance that is provided to students to help cover the cost of their studies. Financial aid could be in the form of a scholarship, loan, bursary, or merit award. It is often a combination of two or more of these.
What is meant by Financial Need?
Financial need is the most important criterion for granting financial aid. The financial need of a student is determined via a means assessment that takes the following into consideration:
Usually students with a total pre-tax family income of less than R84,000 per year will qualify to apply for financial aid.
What is a Bursary?
A bursary is a grant of money that is given to a student by a company or organization to fund their tertiary education. A bursary is a gift – it does not have to be repaid unless you fail your course.
What is a Contract Bursary?
A contract bursary is repayable, usually through one year of service for every year of study.
What is a Loan?
A loan is money that you borrow. A loan must be repaid.
Who can apply for financial assistance?
What financial aid is available?
Most of the major banks offer student loans at relatively attractive interest rates. Student loans may be used to cover the cost of tuition fees, books and accommodation. However, loans for accommodation may only be granted to full-time students who do not live with their parents while they are studying. Student loans must be repaid once you have graduated. Most banks require you to pay back your student loan over the same number of years that it took to complete your studies. However, some banks will offer a grace period to students who are completing internships or community service. Most banks will require some form of surety or security before they grant a student loan. This means that a relative, friend or sponsor must guarantee to repay the loan if you do not. Some banks will also require the person who signs surety for your loan to pay the interest on your loan while you are studying. Student loans are usually granted for a single year of study and you will probably have to re-apply for funds each year. You will also have to present your academic results to the bank each year, in order to demonstrate that you have passed your courses.
If you are interested in applying for a student loan, it is always best to approach the bank where you, or the person who will sign surety for your loan, already have a bank account. This is because the bank keeps records of your transactions and should have some knowledge of your financial resources. The bank should be in a position to accurately gauge the risk attached to lending you money and may be able to offer you a more favorable interest rate.
Visit your local bank to find out what products they offer students. Here are some contact details:
ABSA: www.absa.co.za or 0860 008 600
First National Bank: www.fnblifestart.co.za or 0860 102 458
Nedbank: www.nedbank.co.za or 0860115 060
Standard Bank: www.standardbank.co.za or 0860 123 456
Bursaries and Scholarships
A bursary is a grant of money that is awarded to a student to assist with the costs of tertiary education. Unlike a loan, a bursary normally does not have to be repaid. However there are usually conditions attached to bursaries. Although the terms “bursary” and “scholarship” are often used interchangeably, a scholarship is usually awarded for outstanding academic achievement. A bursary, on the other hand, may be awarded on the basis of academic performance, financial neediness and/or a wide range of other criteria. Bursaries are available, but competition for bursaries is tough!
Bursaries also vary in what they cover. Some bursaries are very comprehensive and cover tuition fees, accommodation costs, books and travel costs, but most bursaries offer a relatively small financial contribution towards your studies.
The most practical way of looking at bursaries is to consider them a potential source of financial assistance. Remember, most students pay for their studies through a combination of student loans, bursaries and assistance from family members or friends. It is very unusual to have your studies totally funded by a bursary or scholarship. Bursaries differ considerably in their selection criteria, but most donors will require you to have sound results from exams (such as Matric) and other qualities such as evidence of leadership or sporting ability. Financial neediness is another very common criterion.
In your search for financial assistance, it is useful to know that there are two types of bursaries available to students at South African universities:
There are different application procedures for these two groups of bursaries.
Bursaries awarded by African Academy
African Academy receives funds from a number of donors or sponsors who want to contribute to the education of deserving students. Many donors will stipulate the criteria and requirements that must be used by the Academy in awarding a bursary. The criteria are many and varied, but typically include academic merit, financial neediness and a specific field of study, such as Draughting.
Some bursaries are allocated on the basis of very specific criteria such as the age, race, gender, language group, religion or even, in some cases, the town of origin of the student.
Bursaries awarded by organizations
A number of companies, government departments and organizations offer bursaries to academically promising students.
Some of the most comprehensive bursaries are contract bursaries which require you to work for the company that sponsored your studies for at least the same number of years that it took to get your qualification. Some contract bursaries also provide students with paid vacation work, graduate training and other attractive career-building schemes.
Contract bursaries are very often prestigious awards and competition for the bursaries is intense. You would need to have an exceptional academic record or outstanding leadership abilities to qualify for one of these bursaries.
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