In South Africa, the cost of tertiary education can be prohibitive for many students, and as a result, many turn to student loans to fina
nce their studies. While student loans can provide access to education, they also come with the burden of debt. In this article, we will explore two ways that potential students can decrease any debt they acquire if they need to take out a student loan while studying.
Apply for Bursaries and Scholarships
One way that potential students can decrease their debt is by applying for bursaries and scholarships. Bursaries and scholarships are awards that do not need to be repaid and can be used to cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, books, and other expenses. There are many bursaries and scholarships available in South Africa, and they are often awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of the two.
Some organizations that offer bursaries and scholarships in South Africa include the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, and the Thuthuka Bursary Fund. Potential students should research and apply for as many bursaries and scholarships as possible to increase their chances of receiving funding.
Manage Expenses and Budget Wisely
Another way that potential students can decrease their debt is by managing their expenses and budget wisely. Many students take out student loans to cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, books, and other expenses, but it is essential to remember that every rand borrowed will need to be repaid with interest. To avoid accruing unnecessary debt, students should be mindful of their expenses and look for ways to save money where possible.
One way to manage expenses is to create a budget and stick to it. A budget can help students identify their essential expenses, such as rent, food, and transportation, and allocate their resources accordingly. Students should also look for ways to save money, such as buying used textbooks, preparing meals at home, and using public transportation instead of owning a car.
Another way to manage expenses is to consider part-time work or side hustles to generate additional income. Many students work part-time jobs to supplement their income and cover their expenses. Some students may also consider starting a side hustle, such as freelance writing, tutoring, or selling products online. By generating additional income, students can decrease their reliance on student loans and reduce their debt.
In conclusion, potential students can decrease their debt by applying for bursaries and scholarships and managing their expenses and budget wisely. Bursaries and scholarships provide students with access to funding that does not need to be repaid, while budgeting and managing expenses can help students save money and reduce their reliance on student loans. It is essential for potential students to consider all their options and make informed decisions when it comes to financing their education to avoid unnecessary debt and financial hardship in the future.