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How To Finance Your Studies - An Oxbridge Academy Guide

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In this e-book, you will learn everything you need to know about:
• Scholarships and bursaries
• Student loans
• Working to pay for your studies
• Using employer skills development levies
• Choosing a study option that suits both your needs and your resources
This e-book not only aims to help you find solutions to the problem of financing your studies, but also to help you empower yourself and to find ways to make studying a feasible reality.

Veröffentlicht in: Wirtschaft & Finanzen
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How To Finance Your Studies - An Oxbridge Academy Guide

  1. 1. How To finance Your studies Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Scholarships & Bursaries Where to Look Bursary List 10 Tips for Securing a Bursary or Scholarship 3. Student Loans Where to Look How to Make Sure You Don’t Fall Into a Debt Trap 4. Working While You Study Studying via Distance Learning Making Education Affordable Added Benefits 5. Employee Sponsorship What are Skills Development Levies? 6. Choosing the Right College How does Oxbridge Academy Help Make Studies Affordable? 7. Some Final Advice pg.3 pg.5 pg.8 pg.11 pg. 13 pg.14 pg.16
  2. 2. 2 INTRODUCTION For most students, funding is the biggest obstacle standing in their way when it comes to starting, and sometimes completing, their post-high school education. Especially in South Africa, accessibility to affordable tertiary education is a widespread, and ever- growing, problem. The Problem As the says: “ Everyone has the right to a basic education… and to further education. ” There are a number of ways in which the state, private educational institutions, and the private sector aim to help students afford their studies. Bear in mind that if the opportunities are limited, and the circumstances are against you, there are always ways for you to succeed despite it all. The Solution The university fees protests across South African campuses and cities during 2015 is a good indication of just how dire the situation has become. According to Old Mutual, the cost of education rises about 9% each year. Stats SA confirms that the rising cost of education thus far outstrips the general inflation rate (the consumer price index has risen with only about 4% in 2015). Source Source South African Constitution Read Oxbridge Academy’s Succeeding Against the Odds stories.
  3. 3. 4 In this e-book, you will learn everything you need to know about: • Scholarships and bursaries • Student loans • Working to pay for your studies • Using employer skills development levies • Choosing a study option that suits both your needs and your resources This e-book not only aims to help you find solutions to the problem of financing your studies, but also to help you empower yourself and to find ways to make studying a feasible reality. Always bear in mind that your own resolutiontosucceedismoreimportant than any other. “ “ Abraham Lincoln Tweet Quote
  4. 4. 5 Scholarships & BursariesWhen you want to find external funding for your studies, scholarships and bursaries are probably the first thing you need to consider. But what kind of bursaries are out there, where do you start looking, and how do you secure one? Where to look Educational Institutions Many colleges and universities have their own scholarship and bursary programmes, or have access to a list of scholarships and bursaries that apply to their courses. When you are applying to a university or college, you should call their financial aid office (or general administrative office) to find out whether they offer scholarships and bursaries and how you can qualify for these awards if they are available. Alternatively, you can look on their websites for funding opportunities. You will usually find this information on the ‘fees’ section of a college or university’s website. It is important, however, to remember that the scholarships and bursaries offered by educational institutions are often extremely competitive, as this is where most people start looking for funding opportunities. What is the difference: Scholarships vs Bursaries ‘Scholarship’ and ‘bursary’ are two terms that are often used interchangeably to refer to the money awarded to students to cover the costs, or partial costs, of their studies. Generally, however, scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, while bursaries are awarded on the grounds of a student’s financial need. It is also important to note that while scholarships are often awarded without any obligation for the student to repay them, bursaries often require the students either to repay the bursary once they’ve started working, or to work for the companies that sponsored their studies for a set period of time after graduation.
  5. 5. 3 Private Sector The National Student Financial Aid Scheme The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has set up what is called the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to help students finance their studies at universities and TVET colleges nationwide. These bursaries, however, along with accrued interest, need to be paid back once a recipient has graduated and is earning more than R30 000 a year. Companies in the private sector often offer bursaries to students studying a course directly related to their industry. ABSA bank, for example, offers a bursary for students “pursuing a course of study in a discipline that will benefit the Banking Industry.” Programmes like this might be part of their corporate social initiatives — as ABSA states: “we are keen to ensure that talented, top- performing students get every opportunity to enter the world of business”. It might also form part of an investment strategy. Companies usually offer bursaries to promising students with the understanding that they will be required to work for that company for a certain period of time after completing their studies. It is often sectors with the largest skills shortage in South Africa that offer the most bursary opportunities. While you might not get someone to fund your interior decorating course, there are plenty of companies eager to fund your . Here are a few examples of private sector bursaries for engineering: The best way to find out more about these types of bursaries is to search online for bursaries related to your specific field of interest. The following skills are currently included on the National Scarce Skills List: 1. High-level, world-class engineering and planning skills for the “’network industries”, namely transport, communications, water and energy; 2. City, urban and regional planning and engineering skills; Artisanal and technical skills, with priority attention to infrastructure development, housing and energy, and in other areas identified as being in strong demand in the labour market; 3. Management and planning skills in education and health; and Mathematics, science and language competence in public schooling. Visit the NSFAS’s website Source Engineering National Diploma Vodacom Bursaries Square Kilometre Array Bursary Transnet Bursary
  6. 6. 4 Apply as early as possible. Some bursaries require you to apply a whole semester before you start your studies. Apply for as many bursaries as possible. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you are to catch something. Apply for smaller and less competitive awards as well. If you apply for a number of smaller bursaries, you might be more likely to get them. And even though your studies might not be fully covered, you will surely have made a significant dent in your expenses. Don’t do too little too late. Get good marks early on, do extracurricular activities, aim for leadership positions in your school or job, get good performance reviews, and do charity work if you can. Awarding committees look at these things when selecting funding recipients. Know where, what, and why you want to study. The more certain you are, the better you’ll be able to motivate your choices. Awarding committees look for candidates who are passionate, directed, and focused on a single well-defined goal. Remember that your funding application and your course application are completely separate. So make sure you put as much effort into getting accepted for your course as you do into obtaining a bursary. Read the bursary requirements and application procedure carefully and double check your application and required documents. Make sure everything is filled out completely and correctly. Incorrect or incomplete applications often get disqualified automatically. Applying for funding opportunities can be confusing. Put up a calendar with deadlines for each scholarship or bursary and keep track of what you still need to do for each application. Don’t use the same application information for all your scholarships and bursaries. Make sure to tailor your motivation letter, CV, and other relevant information to suit each unique application. Put in the effort. Don’t shy away from scholarships that require a lot of paperwork or essay writing. Nobody said that you weren’t going to have to work to earn it. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 Tips for Securing a Bursary or Scholarship Need help?
  7. 7. 5 Bursary List To get started with finding the right bursaries for your studies, you can go to the following websites and browse through their lists of bursaries and scholarships that are available in South Africa, ranging from educational institution to governmental and private sector awards: Important things to remember: Bursaries don’t just mean someone hands you a blank cheque. They often come with certain stipulations or conditions, such as: • You need to repay, or work back, your bursary after graduating. • You need to take a certain course, or subjects, to qualify for a specific award. • You often need to pay for your own accommodation, food, and transport. • You need to maintain a certain level of academic performance to keep your bursary or scholarship. • You need to fulfil certain requirements to qualify for the bursary. This can include: minority status, financial status, nationality, language, age, gender, and even ancestry. So even when you receive the bursary or scholarship, you still need to work harder than any of the other students during and after your studies. Scholarships and bursaries are often difficult to secure, as they are limited in number and highly competitive. Only the most promising, or the most disadvantaged, students will usually receive them. The reality is that you might apply for 10 bursaries and not receive a single award. But do not lose hope for your future. There are always more bursaries out there and countless other ways to finance your studies. www.careerhelp.org.za www.bursaries-southafrica.co.za www.sastudy.co.za www.gostudy.mobi www.africaeducation.org
  8. 8. 6 Where to look STUDENT LOANS There are a number of public and private financial institutes that offer student loans. What makes student loans different from other types of bank loans, such as small business loans, is that they offer competitive interest rates and flexible payment terms that suit student needs. Securing a student loan is easier than securing a scholarship or bursary, as you won’t be in direct competition with other applicants. You will still need a number of documents to qualify for a loan, however. These documents can include: • Identity Document • Letter of acceptance from the university or college where you will be studying • Proof of study costs (often including tuition, accommodation, and books) • Proof of residence • Latest academic results • Payslips and proof of employment of co-signer (such as a parent) Here are some of the banks that offer student loans in South Africa: Here are other institutions that also offer student loans in South Africa: First National Bank ABSA Bank Standard Bank Nedbank Eduloan NSFAS
  9. 9. 7 Before you consider taking out a loan, think about it carefully. Remember that the loan will need to be repaid, and that it will keep accumulating interest as long as there are still payments outstanding. You should only take out a study loan from a respectable financial institution, and not an unknown small loans company or loan shark that might exploit you. Remember to read the loan agreement carefully and to make sure you understand everything stipulated in it. Ask the bank representative to explain anything you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid if you don’t know something - it is more important to know what you are signing up for than pretending to look smart. Make sure to find out the following information: • How much will the loan cost you in total? • What will your monthly payment be? • Is the interest rate fixed or variable? • What additional bank costs are there? You should borrow only the minimum amount that you can get by with. Rather get a part-time job to cover part of the costs if you need to. When working out your budget, remember to include your books, accommodation, transport, tuition fees, and other relevant costs. Make sure to compare student loan offers from different financial providers. They aren’t all the same. Some might fit your needs and circumstances better than others. Start paying back the loan as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your big break - start paying back even if it is just R200 a month. Find out from your prospective college or university which loans and financial institutions they recommend. Pass your course. If you fail your course, your debt will not vanish and you will be stuck without the means to find employment and pay back the money. So if you do study using a student loan, make sure you work hard and pass your course. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How to make sure you don’t fall into a debt trap:
  10. 10. 8 Studying via Distance Learning Working While You Study Bursaries are often difficult to secure, and student loans can leave you in debt for years after you’ve completed your course. Being able to pay for your studies yourself, on your own terms, is obviously first prize. But how do you do that if you don’t have a large savings account? One of the best ways to do this is to study part-time while you work. This will allow you to sustain your studies with a portion of your monthly income. While you can study part-time at a campus-based college or university, classes will often interfere with your work schedule. Distance learning, on the other hand, allows you to have a flexible study schedule that you can fit around your workday. Distance learning, as offered by Oxbridge Academy, gives the following benefits to working students: • You study in your own time. • You can start your course anytime of the year. • You can study from home, from anywhere in South Africa. • You can complete your course at your own pace. Not many people can afford to take off a whole year (or more) to study. Distance learning allows you to keep your job, and keep getting paid, while furthering your education and training. Flip through the Oxbridge Academy Everything You Want to Know About Distance Learning slideshow
  11. 11. 9 Making Education Affordable Different colleges and universities have different payment structures. Certain institutes will require you to pay the full course fee upfront, while others allow you to pay in monthly instalments. So if you want to fund your course by working while you study, you need to pick a college that gives you the option to pay your fees on a monthly basis. Oxbridge Academy, for example, has designed its fees and payment structures to make studying manageable for students who need to finance their studies with full-time jobs. Here’s how it works: • You can pay for your studies in interest-free monthly instalments. • There are no additional textbook costs – all your study material is included in the course fee. • Your course material is delivered to you for free. • There are no hidden costs. • You save on transport and accommodation costs by studying via distance learning. A college like Oxbridge Academy therefore allows you to start studying by putting as little as R390 aside per month for your college course. Added Bene its Working while you study can be difficult. You will be exhausted and you will often feel overwhelmed. But studying while you work comes with more than just financial benefits. Work experience is arguably the most valuable attribute you can have in the labour market. When you have finished your course, you might be twice as qualified as a student who has studied full- time on campus, with no work experience behind his or her name. This student will have to start in an entry-level position, regardless of what qualification he or she has. You, on the other hand, will have your qualification or certificate and considerable work experience to build your career with. What’s more, studying while you are working is a great way to show your employer that you are driven, eager to advance your career, and a hard worker. Many distance learning students have their study material delivered to their place of work during the day, which never fails to impress an employer. Learn more about studying at Oxbridge Academy
  12. 12. EMPLOYEE SPONSORSHIPEmployee sponsorship is a big source of funding in South Africa. If you are a working professional who wants to study while you work, this might be a great option with which to finance your studies. It might seem awkward to ask your employer to help you pay for your studies, but most employers actively look for opportunities to invest in employee training. This is because South African companies must fulfil certain duties related to Skills Development Levies. What are Skills Development Levies? The Skills Development Levy is a tax that employers must pay to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to promote skills development in South Africa. If, however, an employer invests in training their own workforce, then the employer can claim that money back from SARS. Employers would thus much rather invest their Skills Development Levies in their own employees, as opposed to giving it to SARS to invest in other people’s skills development programmes. It is especially through enrolling employees in ational Qualificaion courses that employers benefit from the Skills Development Levies scheme. Businesses sponsoring employee skills development is about more than just ‘tax breaks’, however. Employers are often willing to finance employee studies as a form of investment in their companies, regardless of any Skills Development Levies. Any good business owner knows that the better their employees are trained for their jobs, the more their business will benefit from them. “ The SDL Act, established a compulsory levy scheme for the purpose of funding education and training as envisaged in the Skills Development Act, No. 97 of 1998. ” - Sars With the right people… anything is possible. “ “ Richard Branson 10 How to ask your employer to help pay for your studies National Qualificaiton courses Tweet Quote
  13. 13. The best way to make sure you can afford your studies is to choose a college and a course that is affordable and that offers financial benefits that will help you access the career of your choice. Even if your funding opportunitiesare secured, the more affordable your studies are, the better off you will be. When looking for a college, you must remember the following 2 things: An educational institution can be affordable while still offering quality accredited courses and good academic service. An educational institution can be expensive without necessarily being better or offering higher quality courses than other institutions. CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLLEGE So make sure the college or university you choose is affordable while retaining a high level of educational standards. A great way to ensure this is to: Check your college’s accreditation. See what others have to say about the college. Look at the college’s fee structures. Look at the content of the courses. 11 1 2 Why study an Accredited Course?
  14. 14. How does Oxbridge Academy Help Make Studies Affordable? Oxbridge Academy is one of the top private college in South Africa. We offer a long list of short learning programmes and national qualifications. We pride ourselves on not only delivering excellent academic opportunities and educational support, but also on making studying in South Africa as affordable as possible. Oxbridge Academy’s affordability model: • We offer our courses via distance learning, allowing you to work while you study. • We offer courses in a range of price categories, making sure everyone has the opportunity to study regardless of their financial situation. • You aren’t charged any interest if you choose to pay your course fees in monthly instalments. • You can pay per module if you prefer to do so. • You earn a Special Merit Award to cover 25% of your next course’s fees if you pass your initial course with distinction. • You receive a 10% discount if any of your siblings are also studying with Oxbridge Academy. This discount will apply to both you and your sibling(s). • You get a 30-day money back guarantee, which entitles you to a full refund if you cancel your course within 30 days of registration. • You receive all of your textbooks (via free courier delivery) as part of your course fee. You won’t be expected to spend any extra money on textbooks. These benefits do not get in the way of our ability to offer quality courses and deliver top-shelf academic services. 12 MAKE Sure oxbridge academy is the right college for you: Our accreditation Our fee structures Feedback from our students Our course content Find out how to register
  15. 15. SOME Final adviceStudying opens doors for you. It increases your employability, your earning potential, and your chances at a better life. But enrolling for a college or university course can be an expensive undertaking. The funding options laid out in this e-book were meant to help you figure out how to secure a future for yourself, despite your circumstances and the limitations of your financial resources. There are always options for you to further your education. As the saying goes: “Where there is a will there is a way”. To inspire you to keep on trying, despite your limitations, here is a last quote from Oprah Winfrey - one of the richest women in the world, who managed to reach success despite coming from a very poor background: Find out more about starting your studies with Oxbridge Academy: 021 1100 200 www.oxbridgeacademy.edu.za 16 Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work “ “ Oprah Winfrey Click here for more free ebooks & infographics! Tweet Quote