How to access university funding

Are you looking for funding for your studies? Start with your university.

Every university has its own list of sponsorships and funding opportunities. You can find this list by going to the university website or contacting the fees office.

Funding options can include scholarships, bursaries, grants, loans, merit awards and other specialised financial support such as disability funding.

These options can be limited to undergraduate or postgraduate students.

In order to qualify for these opportunities you will need to meet certain criteria which will be stipulated in the bursary requirements.

As a student you can apply for:

Private University Funding

These opportunities are only available to students who are enrolled at the university. Selected students will receive financial support from private donors or trustees. Students can receive full or partial cover for their studies.

Gap Funding

In 2016 government announced that it would subsidize students which it labelled the “missing middle”. These are students who are not eligible for NSFAS funding but still need financial assistance. As a result gap funding was introduced for students with a gross household income of R600 000 per annum. This a grant and does not need to be repaid.


Universities vary in the type of scholarships they provide. For instance scholarships may be offered by the faculty. Alternatively they may be distributed according to subject matter or academic performance. These opportunities can either be financed by the university, private donors or external companies. Scholarships do not need to be repaid however they may come with conditions that must be adhered to during or after the study programme.

NSFAS Funding

This is a government funded initiative however students can apply for NSFAS funding through their university. This can generally be done online through a varsity portal. The university will also provide important details such as deadlines, application procedures and eligibility for NSFAS funding.

Go to these student funding pages to find out more about funding opportunities at the following universities:

Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing