Further education in South Africa is beyond the reach of many low-to-middle-income families, which means that getting financial assistance of often the only way for people to study towards a qualification on early childhood education.
Traditional universities offer various bursaries and scholarships to needy and qualified learners, but finding financial assistance through online colleges can be more challenging.
This is where the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can be of assistance. The NSFAS is a Government agency that administers funds to assist South African students to pay for their tertiary undergraduate studies. These loans and bursaries are available for study at South African public Universities and Universities of Technology, along with bursaries for the National Certificate (Vocational) at public Further Education & Training (FET) Colleges.
With a NSFAS loan, most students receive money for their studies (in this case, in early childhood education) by way of low-interest loans, which are repayable as soon as the student becomes employed and earns over R30, 000 per year.
When it comes to online or distance learning, the best course of action if you need financial assistance is to study through the University of South Africa (UNISA). You can apply for NSFAS funding, or apply for one of the following bursaries (if you meet the requirements and criteria):
- Unisa Foundation Bursaries
- Department of Labour (DOL) – for students with disabilities
- Margaret Orr – for black female students who are under 35 years of age
- UNISA postgraduate bursaries
- Club bursaries with applications available in club magazines – for paid-up members of certain consumer clubs (such as HomeChoice and JD Group)
- Funza Lushaka Bursary for Teaching Profession (this apples to certain subjects only)
Application forms can be handed in at any of UNISA’s regional offices (Student Administration section).
To find out more about the funding administered by NSFAS: