Presented by Standard Bank

3 ways to fund your tertiary education

So, the apple of your eye has passed matric with exemption and has been accepted to university this year.

This calls for a celebration. But, once the celebrating is over, you might be faced with doubt over whether you can afford a tertiary education for your child.

You’re not alone. Of the 787,717 learners who wrote their matric exams last year, 186,058 received bachelor passes.

Unfortunately, not all of them can afford to go to university, college or other tertiary education facilities.

“Financing is the biggest challenge facing most young South Africans students. Knowing that you might not have the money to study can not only be daunting but can affect your academic performance. There is help out there however, and students and their parents should be encouraged to explore all the options available to them,” said Magdeline Motsamai, Head of Client Solutions, Personal Lending at Standard Bank South Africa.


In 2017, student crowdfunding platform Feenix was launched in South Africa. Feenix provides both a tool for students to formalise their fundraising efforts and a channel for funders to find students they wish to support.

There are 374 independent donors, 187 Standard Bank and 64 corporate donors registered on the platform.

More than R30 million in calls for funding from students have been registered on Feenix, which has helped almost 1,000 students cover some of the costs associated with a tertiary education.

All accredited degrees at any of the 26 public universities across South Africa are covered and students have access to a one-stop online platform where they can register their financial needs.

Student loans

Often families can’t afford university fees and expenses but sit above the annual income threshold for government funding, or do not qualify for academic bursaries. Student loans are designed to help fill this gap.

“At Standard Bank customers can apply for student financing online. We offer pre-approval for both full-time and part-time student loans, and loans are granted for one year of study at a time. We realise that by pursuing an education you are investing in yourself and we want to help you ensure that your investment comes to maturity, which is why we offer interest rates as low as 9.75% (linked to the prime lending rate) on our student loans to our Standard Bank customers.”

Bursaries and government aid

Another good way to source funding is to apply for a bursary from private sector.

Standard Bank offers bursaries for students in various stages of their education.

Our 150 Bursary and Scholarship targets well-rounded, undergraduate students with strong academic results, entering their second or third year of study in commerce, science, engineering, mathematics and technology.

The Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship funds nine carefully vetted students for post-graduate studies at Cambridge, Oxford and The London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom.

Finally, the Standard Bank Group Postgraduate Bursary is for financially deserving and academically sound undergraduates wishing to pursue postgraduate studies in commerce, science, engineering, mathematics and technology at our preferred academic institutions.

This article was published in partnership with Standard Bank.

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3 ways to fund your tertiary education