With regards to bursary schemes, there are multiple formats through which financial aid and scholarships is offered to students. Each individual country in which bursary schemes are readily available tend to have their own flair when offering financial support, but overall similarities between programs offered are fairly common. Even outside of borders, an international bursary scheme is built up in similar ways. Basically this means that once a student figures out how to navigate one bursary system, they will likely be well equipped to navigate any other bursary scheme – or such program.
Here we are going to discuss what bursary schemes normally consist of, how best to take advantage of the system and how these programs can end up benefiting students to a great degree in terms of financial support. It should be of no surprise to any students searching for bursary schemes that financial aid and scholarships is an incredibly important part of funding a college education. While there will always be those students who can readily afford to go to school based on coming from a wealthy family, such students are a relative minority. There are also those students who cannot afford college but wait until the last minute to start searching for bursary schemes, ending up lagging behind more responsible students and often left without any financial aid options except student loans. Those students who stay on top of their financial aid needs and learn to effectively navigate the bursary scheme system will likely find themselves rewarded handsomely for their work, in all hopes gaining enough free financial support to pay for most of if not all of college.
Bursary schemes in most instances do not have to be repaid after graduation from college, making them a much better alternative to student loans. Students who enter into a bursary scheme agreement will normally be promising to achieve well academically and in some areas of the world also be agreeing to work with a private company immediately after graduation. The former is normally available in western countries such as the United Kingdom or Canada. The less common promised work bursary scheme is incredibly common in South Africa but also appears through offers from private companies around the world.
Like scholarships, bursary schemes are not normally available to any person who may be looking for financial aid. Various levels of eligibility exist depending on what the bursary scheme was built for. In some instances students may have to display a deep financial need, coming from households in poverty that could not in any way reasonably pay for the student’s education. A great example of such a program is the Canadian Millennium Bursary Program which makes up the bulk of such bursary schemes offered by the Canadian Millennium Foundation. This program provides on average up to $3,000 per student and is renewable yearly. It can be applied to locally through college financial aid departments around Canada. In South Africa, as a stark comparison, many privately offered programs are available which require repayment after graduation through work at the company which provided the funding. These bursary schemes are normally more based on merit and on the specific skill sets individual employers are looking for.
Preparing to apply for bursary schemes will not be complicated for those students who prepare themselves early for the application process. Students applying for a bursary scheme which are based on financial need will want to have access to income information for their family as well as transcripts from academic institutions they have attended. Those students applying for more merit based bursary schemes will want to detail their past works and individual academic interests before sitting down for the application, being sure to make all public volunteer work, clubs and leadership roles they have been involved with very clear. By being prepared for the application process, students will make applying for bursary schemes much easier and less stressful overall. In turn, they will reap the greatest benefits by being able to maximize the number of bursary schemes they are able to apply for. Starting early, being prepared and applying for as many bursary schemes as they are eligible for are the best ways to take advantage of the system. Any student that does otherwise will risk being left without as much financial support and may increase their reliance on debt incurring systems like student loans.