Government Bursaries and How they Work

Government Bursaries
Government Bursaries and How they Work

In some countries, government bursaries are offered to help students who are in need of financial aid. A Government bursary is very common in Canada, South Africa, and can be found in various forms in the United Kingdom. These student bursaries are normally available to those with an exceptional need due to disabilities, families, or poverty. Normally these sorts of bursaries are handled by local provincial governments, or even at the university level, so finding out about bursaries for your area should start with an inquiry at the local organization which handles applications for monetary aid. Aid is available to citizens of the province or locality, and as a result these government bursaries are not typically available to foreign students. Those students who are looking to travel outside of the country to attend school but will need government bursary aid to assist them in their funding should first sign up at a local institution’s exchange program, otherwise funds will not be available.

Bursaries offered by governments are normally given out with a number of fairly straight forward conditions attached. Some exist for students freshly entering college, designed to give those in need of exceptional financial assistance access to funds. It is not at all uncommon for repayment of these bursaries to hinge on academic achievement, meaning that those who do well in school will not have to worry about paying back any of the amount whereas those who perform poorly may find themselves having to reimburse the awarded amounts.

Other government bursaries, such as the Canada Millennium Bursary Program, offer assistance to students who have already been in school for at least 60% of a single year while also being eligible through financial need. Aspects of the Millennium Bursary Program also include the Millennium Access Bursary and Millenium Award, all government bursary programs designed to help students enter and maintain financial assistance at post secondary institutions. The deadlines for these programs will vary by province but most students are automatically entered for consideration when they apply for financial aid at their university.

Of course not every potential student is a citizen of Canada, and will need to find government bursary information for their own region. Like with scholarships, starting your bursary application process is ideally done early on. Because of the high demand for access to these government bursaries and only a limited amount of money available to disburse, starting early increases your chances of getting access to a program.

Further, the earlier you apply, the earlier you will know what your financial aid status is giving you a much clearer idea of how much money you may still need to find to complete your funding needs. The process of applying for a government bursary can sometimes take months, in the case of the Canada Millennium Bursary up to six months. As soon as you have an idea of where you will be attending school, it is important to start talking to provincial or local government bursary sources immediately or else you may quickly find yourself left behind.

Different government bursaries have access to different amounts of funds. The government bursary is not a guaranteed method of paying for school, but if you meet the appropriate criteria and apply in a timely manner they will more than likely turn out to be useful in your quest for aid. Look around at multiple sources on campus or through local government organizations which handle financial aid issues. Always make sure you have a full assessment of your status – know if you are a dependent according to your nation’s legal standards, know what your family’s income is, make sure you have identification and are prepared to wait a short while to speak with somebody. Fortunately, though the process can sometimes be a little long, many government bursaries allow you to apply for all available programs with a single form. This makes for a great convenience – once you’re done you should not have to worry about applying for any other programs which are covered by your initial application.

71 thoughts on “Government Bursaries and How they Work”

    1. Mhlengi,

      whichever bursary seems to fit your personal criteria – apply to it ASAP! This is the only way to find out if you will qualify for it. Don’t feel that you will not have a chance because you might surprise yourself; but you must apply to them!

      1. mpho,

        apply to any bursary you may be a good fit for. Go directly to the bursary sponsor which normally is a link near the end of the article. Government bursaries are found by going to the government website and searching for ‘bursaries’. Once there you will see how to apply.

  1. I’m currently doing Industrial Engineering at Durban University of Tech,I’ve been applying for bursaries bt i never get help,please if the is anyway i cn do please send me an email.

  2. hi i would like to get a bursary to complete my diploma in logistics management.i failed my 3modules due to finacial circumstances.where can i get a bursary to help please i really am in need for this

    regards sinobia plaatjies

  3. im at dut applied 4 Bed coarse but donot have financial aid to support me, nsfas is not respondind my application form what should i do? beause my mother is a single parent and she is not working.

  4. i would like to futher my studies in Internal Auditing but I don’t have the means to finace my own studies, any ideas which companies offer bursaries.

    1. Ntombodidi,

      read more on our site and it will give you more ideas. Contacting your educational state department may be of help to you.

    1. Molefi,

      you should sit down with a financial aids officer at your college to discuss options since every case is different. This is always the best first option.

  5. i’m a student at university of kwazulu natal studying for B ed degree my parents are not working i would like to further my education studies but due to the fact that i don’t have money to continuie please let me know if you have education basaries available.god bless

    1. nosihle,

      make an appointment with the financial aids office at the university of kwazulu to discuss your options. Contact your state/province educational department of education for assistance too. Student loans are a good option if they have them in your country.

  6. Dear sir,i would like to apply for Bursary in which i would like to study as a Social worker,so i would like to know how or where i should go and apply for one in this selevted field.

  7. Wel a gud thankful honour to eskom for such a platform to apply for busaries to continue with our academical background ,and for any further information of busaries from Eskom, let me know, I am currently a student in University of KwaZuluNatal, who is ineed of a motivating sponsor

    1. Siyabonga,

      we do not sponsor but government bursaries are always recommended firstly to our readers because of the liberal qualifying guidelines.

  8. i am loking for a government bursary. i am currently doing my first year. what do i do and i would like to know exactly wich website i can go to! my first semester marks are quiet good. please help

    1. buhle,

      go to your government website to apply to them which is usually your government Once there search for ‘bursaries’. then apply.

  9. Hi my name is Tsholofelo,i want to study social worker at potch university and i dont have money to pay for my fees

    1. tsholofelo,

      visit the FinAids office at potch university to see what programs they have for you. You must also apply to government bursaries from your government.

  10. M a SA citizen, nd m doin n5 in a private college in Pta, i want a university diploma but due 2 shortage of money i cnt do it, i nid a busary or an advice dat afta my n6 ill get da job, plz help.

    1. Nokulunga,

      talk to your FinAids office at the college you will be going to to see what options you may have for student aid. They have the latest bursary program advice and will guide you in the best direction.

  11. I don’t understand why we as college students are left behind e.g i am doing ncv level 4 electrical infrastructure construction but i don’t find any job category that i may apply on why?

    1. Siphelele,

      search for ‘ ncv level 4 electrical infrastructure construction’ in any browser and you should come up with some starting points.

  12. Good day

    Is it possible that I could get a scholarship for my child who is going to grade10 in 2012. Which institutions can accommodate her as she would like to pursue Science studies. your response will be much appreciated.

    Kind regards


  13. I am currently working in a super store and I am not enjoying it because I really want to go school and study Political sciences. A swe all the problem is one fanacial problems. Can I get an advice on what to do and where to apply. I will really appriciate any bursary from the social studies. Please and one thing about me I am a fully dertemined person. Your help will be highly appriciated. Thank you. lucas ngonelo.

  14. last year in 2010 i was doing my first year in media studies and this year i changed to teaching,the problem is i did’nt pass 50% of my courses,and i have’nt payed university yet because of financial problems!what can i do because i wont get my of limpopo

    1. Jaqualin,

      you may have to pay your past edu bills to be eligible for any future bursaries for most programs. You can always apply for a hardship program at your college if you qualify for it.


    1. SIPHE,

      make an appointment to sit down with your FinAids office at your school to discuss this. This is always a great first step.

  16. hey help please i have applied for fundza lushaka bursary in january and i have not receive any respond from them if i qualuified or not is there any way to contact them without going to my university financial office , because my parents said if they dont respond by the edn of this month i have to come back home since they cant afford any more help please

  17. Hi I go to the NWU and have no financial support. I applied for the Funza Lushaka busary for teachers and was rejected and I was to late to apply for NSFAS for this year. Its my first year and Ive never been so stressed is there anywhere I can get help?

    1. Philangenkosi,

      go to NWU bursaries. I recommend that you talk with the FinAids manager at the college you attend to see what specific student aid programs you may be eligible for.

  18. i am studying at Durban University of Technology doing internal auditing, second year…may you please help me,i need a busary to further my studies

    1. zandile,

      you must apply to bursaries to see if you qualify for them. We do not offer direct bursary programs but write about those who do. I recommend that you talk with the FinAids manager at the college you attend to see what specific student aid programs you may be eligible for. Read more at Durban University of Technology bursaries.

  19. im a student at north west university studing bachlor of nursing science,and really enjoying my course up to so far and really need financial support pleas help me.

    1. Motlhamme,

      you must apply to bursaries to see if you qualify for them. We do not offer direct bursary programs but write about those who do. Go directly to the bursary sponsors website to apply. I recommend that you talk with the FinAids manager at the college you attend to see what specific student aid programs you may be eligible for.

  20. my name is kenneth motlhaoleng ;i stay in daveyton .i need a bursary that can assist me to further career which is the travel agent course.

  21. Thnks to government officials for priorising study aids to people wth serious financial problems….may good God bless u all for the great job you are doing……im Leshabane ….

  22. im so interested to became social i would like to help community . but i dont have money to pay dont have someone to support me.

    1. nicole,

      I would apply to your own government bursaries because they are easy to apply to and easy to get. They should have social worker programs you can apply too – best bet!

  23. im soon to be a first year student at UKZN studying a science degree,for the past few months ive been searching for bursaries that could fund my first year studies,for starters, but have had no luck
    any help that could possibly get me a bursary will be greatly appreciated
    Thank You

    1. cebolenkosi,

      have you looked into government bursaries from your own government? I would also sit down with the financial aid manager at UKZN to discuss your options. You must also apply to bursaries to see if you qualify for them. Have you applied?

    1. GONTSE,

      you must apply to bursaries to see if you qualify for them. Start first by applying to your very own government bursaries programs which are easy to apply to and easier to win!

  24. I am studying agricultural management at nmmu George first year student unfortunately I did not get Nsfas . what bursary can I apply for? please help my parents do not have any money to pay for my fees .

    1. cikizwa,

      apply to any bursary program in which you seem meet the qualifications. Start with bursaries which your own government provides because Government bursaries are easy to apply to and easier to win. Most are need based too. You will never know if you qualify for a bursary unless you apply to it.

  25. Sihle

    I am currently doing my Grade 12 , I would really like to further my studies next year but due to the conditions I am living in at home I cannot do so hence my parents passed away
    and my sister is the breadwinner and she is not getting enough.

    1. Sihle,

      apply to your government bursaries firstly. Second sit down with the financial adviser at the college you wish to attend and discuss your personal financial situation and you will be on the best track.

  26. Good Day,

    My daughter is in matric and would like to study further.
    She is interested in becoming a Social Worker or a Teacher.

    No funds to assist her.Please advise on any bursaries available in this field.


Leave a Reply