Bursary For Accounting 2024/2025

A Guide to Securing Bursaries for Accounting Studies in South Africa

Pursuing a career in accounting offers immense rewards – from high earnings potential to job stability and leadership development opportunities. However, the costs of quality undergraduate and postgraduate accounting studies can be prohibitive without financial assistance. This is where bursaries become invaluable, by providing you with funding to access premium accounting education.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the wealth of bursary opportunities available for accounting students in South Africa. Whether you are pursuing a BCom, BAcc, honors, CTA, CA(SA) or other accounting qualification, read on to uncover where to find bursaries, how to apply successfully, and set yourself up for success as a finance professional.

Bursary For Accounting


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Introduction to Accounting Bursaries

A bursary is a monetary award provided to students to help cover educational expenses, without requiring repayment. Bursaries are granted based on criteria like financial need, academic performance, field of study, or other eligibility requirements set by the provider.

For aspirant accountants in South Africa, bursaries can make the difference in being able to pursue quality studies and kickstart your professional journey in this high-demand field. The key is finding aligned bursaries and crafting excellent applications.

This guide will explore:

  • Main sources of accounting bursaries in South Africa
  • Crafting compelling bursary applications
  • Key eligibility criteria and requirements
  • Insider application tips from experts
  • Answers to common bursary questions

Let’s delve into how to secure funding to invest in your accounting education and career.

Main Sources of Accounting Bursaries

Many outstanding accounting bursary opportunities exist through government, universities, companies and more.

Government Bursaries

The South African government offers several programs, including:

  • NSFAS – Financial aid for disadvantaged students pursuing higher education, including accounting.
  • SAICA THUTHUKA Bursary Fund – Supports Black African and Coloured accounting students through an accredited CA stream.

University Bursaries

Most major universities offer bursaries for accounting students based on financial need or academic achievement. Target opportunities from your chosen institution.

Accounting Firms

Large accounting firms like PwC, Deloitte and EY provide bursaries for top students who intern and work for them after graduating.

Accounting Associations

Influential accounting bodies like SAICA, ACCA, CIMA, SAIPA and SAIBA offer great bursary programs aligned to their qualifications.

With diligent research, you can uncover funding tailored for your situation.

Crafting Your Bursary Application

Your written bursary application provides the opportunity to showcase your worthiness for funding. Here are some tips:

Highlight Academic Achievements

Provide details of your academic performance, distinctions, awards or any evidence demonstrating your excellence as a student.

Demonstrate Financial Need

Give accurate details of your financial situation and how the bursary would enable your studies. Provide documentation if required.

Discuss Your Passion for Accounting

Explain what draws you to accounting, your career goals within the field, and how your studies align with that vision.

Show Leadership Attributes

Share examples of leadership roles you’ve held, team collaborations, community impact, or other activities that exhibit your abilities.

Secure Recommendation Letters

Ask teachers, employers or mentors familiar with your skills for recommendations reinforcing your aptitude and character.

Proofread Extensively

Refine your application until it is error-free. Any mistakes can jeopardize your success.

With diligent preparation and compelling content, you can craft an outstanding bursary application.

Key Eligibility Criteria

Understanding typical requirements will help you determine which bursaries to pursue.

Academic Achievement

Meeting high academic standards is usually required based on matric or ongoing university grades.

Financial Need

Most bursaries aim to help economically disadvantaged students, so financial means testing is common.

Accounting Focus Area

Some bursaries are for studies in specific accounting focus areas like tax, audit, finance or analytics.

Association Membership

Certain bursaries require you belong to relevant professional accounting associations.

While each bursary sets specific criteria, excellence and dedication are vital prerequisites.

Insider Tips from the Experts

Apply these bursary application tips from the experts:

  • Start applications well in advance of deadlines to allow time for gathering documents.
  • Align with provider values – e.g. showcase leadership for firm bursaries or social impact goals for NSFAS.
  • For accounting firm bursaries, understand their focus areas and training programs to tailor your application.
  • Request recommendation letters from professionals, professors or mentors who highlight your accounting abilities.
  • Follow up after submission to professionally confirm your application was received.

With proper preparation and persistence, you can optimize your potential for bursary success.

Answers to Common Bursary Questions

Let’s explore some frequent questions accounting students have about bursaries:

How competitive are accounting bursaries?

Competition is often high for prestigious bursaries from top firms and associations. Craft excellent applications and apply broadly.

Should I only apply directly through providers?

Also utilize aggregator platforms like Bursaries24 to access a broad database of programs from various sources.

How much funding will a bursary provide?

Amounts vary from partial to full cost coverage. Understand how far the funding will go towards your needs.

Can I still get a student loan if I secure a bursary?

Yes, combining funding sources is common. Maximize free aid first, then supplement unmet costs with a loan where required.

The more you understand the landscape, the better prepared you will be to secure valuable funding.


The costs of quality accounting qualifications can seem prohibitive without financial assistance. But by leveraging South Africa’s range of outstanding public and private bursary opportunities, aspiring finance professionals can invest in the education needed to accelerate their careers.

Remember to begin your bursary search early, assess eligibility carefully, craft excellent applications, and follow expert tips. With focus and perseverance, bursaries can enable you to gain the knowledge and qualifications to excel as an accountant. Use this guide as a reference to unlock the funding you need to fulfill your potential and make your mark on the business world.


Where can I find bursaries for postgraduate accounting studies like CTA and CA?

Great sources are university accounting departments, professional accounting associations like SAICA, large accounting firms, and aggregator platforms.

What are the key documents needed for most accounting bursary applications?

Typical requirements are ID, academic transcripts and results, proof of university acceptance, motivation letter, financial info, and recommendation letters.

What is the best way to find accounting bursaries from large firms?

Most large firms have dedicated bursary pages on their websites. Also connect with their recruiters on campus and at career fairs.

If I don’t get an accounting bursary on my first try, should I apply again?

Yes, persistence pays off. Many students only succeed after applying across multiple years. Continue improving your applications each cycle.

Can I still get a bursary if I’m enrolled part-time?

Most bursaries require you be a full-time student. Some providers do cater to part-time studies though, so verify requirements.


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