SETA Bursary Monthly Allowance 2024

A Detailed Look at Average Monthly Allowances for SETA Bursaries in South Africa

One of the biggest benefits of securing a SETA or Sector Education and Training Authority bursary is the generous monthly allowance provided to recipients.

This covers daily living expenses like accommodation, food, books, and transport. Allowances enable students to focus on their studies rather than finances.

But how much can you expect as a monthly stipend from a SETA bursary? This comprehensive guide examines the typical allowance ranges based on study level, employment status and other factors.

seta bursary monthly allowance


How to Apply for a SETA Bursary 2024

Services SETA Bursary 2024: Online Application

How Much Do Bursaries Pay In South Africa?

ETDP SETA Bursaries 2024

Introduction to SETA Bursary Allowances

SETA bursaries aim to fund both tuition and living costs to unlock access to skills education for youth. In addition to covering academic fees, most SETAs provide supplementary allowances:

  • Monthly living allowance – For general expenses like food, transport, supplies etc.
  • Accommodation allowance – Covers lodging costs for students living away from home.
  • Book allowance – For prescribed academic books and materials.
  • Laptop allowance – Provides a laptop for studies (certain bursaries).
  • Final year allowance – Additional funding for final year expenses.

These allowances are tailored based on study level, residence status, and employment position.

Factors Impacting Monthly Allowance Amounts

SETA bursary monthly allowances vary primarily based on:

1. Field of study

  • Priority skills areas receive higher allowances.

2. Study level

  • Postgrads get higher amounts than undergraduate students.

3. Residence status

  • Allowances are larger for students residing away from home.

4. Employment status

  • Unemployed students qualify for bigger allowances than employed.

5. Individual SETA

  • Budgets and policies differ, influencing allowance amounts.

Understanding these factors provides an indication of the allowance bracket you could expect.

Average Monthly Living Allowances by Study Level

Here is an overview of the typical monthly living allowances provided for different study levels:

Undergraduate and BTech Allowances

  • Unemployed students – Approximately R5,000 – R6,500 monthly
  • Employed students – Approximately R2,500 – R3,500 monthly

Undergraduate students receive lower amounts given the shorter program duration.

Honours Allowances

  • Unemployed students – Approximately R5,500 – R7,000 monthly
  • Employed students – Approximately R3,000 – R4,500 monthly

Honours allowances are higher considering the more advanced academic level.

Masters Allowances

  • Unemployed students – Approximately R7,000 – R9,000 monthly
  • Employed students – Approximately R4,000 – R5,500 monthly

Masters allowances are increased further compared to Honours.

PhD Allowances

  • Unemployed students – Approximately R8,000 – R12,000 monthly
  • Employed students – Approximately R5,000 – R7,000 monthly

PhD students receive the maximum allowances due to the program duration and intensive research requirements.

As evident, allowances progress based on academic seniority, with PhDs getting the highest amounts.

Differences Between Employed and Unemployed Allowances

Whether a student is employed or unemployed also impacts the monthly allowance amount:

  • Unemployed – Receive maximum allowable amounts to fully fund their living costs.
  • Employed – Get reduced allowances, supplemented by their salary income.

This aligns to SETA objectives to expand assistance to unemployed youth looking to further their education.

Certain specialized programs cater only to either employed or unemployed applicants – so the status requirements must be reviewed.

Case Examples of Allowances for Real SETA Bursary Programs

To make this more concrete, here are real examples of allowances for existing SETA bursary programs:

Unemployed Honours (Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority)

  • Monthly living allowance: R6,500
  • Book allowance: R6,000 annually
  • Final year project allowance: R15,000

Employed Masters (Transport Education and Training Authority)

  • Monthly allowance: R4,500
  • Accommodation allowance: R1,600 per month
  • Research project funding: R25,000 total

Undergraduate Diploma (AgriSETA)

  • Monthly allowance: R2,500
  • Laptop allowance: R10,000 once-off
  • Registration fee coverage

As evident, allowances vary across SETAs even for the same study level based on industry priorities and budget availability.

Additional Bursary Benefits Beyond Allowances

Apart from monthly stipends, some additional bursary benefits include:

  • Free laptops
  • Mentorship programs
  • Guaranteed workplace internships
  • Industry network access
  • Supplementary exam preparation funding
  • Data bundles

Combining allowances with these added benefits provides recipients comprehensive support.

Factors Impacting Future Allowance Changes

Certain factors may lead to changes in allowance amounts offered through SETA bursaries:

  • National inflation and cost of living adjustments
  • Budget changes for the SETA and National Skills Fund
  • Shifting sectoral priorities influencing stipend amounts
  • Increased emphasis on scarce skills development
  • Growing demand for SETA bursaries from applicants

Students must keep these aspects in mind, as they could impact allowances for new intakes.

How Allowances Help Students Succeed

The significance of monthly allowances for student success should not be underestimated:

  • Alleviate financial stress and enable focus on studies
  • Avoid the burden of part-time work on top of academics
  • Fund purchase of textbooks, stationery, laptop and other necessities
  • Pay for daily meals, commuting and living expenses
  • Enable participation in extracurricular activities and conferences
  • Prevent students from accruing debt through loans
  • Motivate students to maintain consistent academic performance

Without adequate financial aid, many deserving students drop out or underperform due to stress. Allowances provide a safety net.

Applying for SETA Bursaries

For prospective students hoping to access SETA allowances, here are key steps:

  • Identify the right SETA aligned to your studies
  • Meet eligibility criteria like academic scores
  • Prepare a solid bursary application highlighting your achievements
  • Submit your application with supporting documents before deadline
  • Check the required documents, information, supplementary assessments etc.
  • Follow up regularly on status of your application

With a strategic application, students can open doors to meaningful SETA funding.


SETA bursaries provide recipients not only tuition coverage but also essential monthly allowances to fund expenses like accommodation, food and learning materials. While amounts differ based on study level, residence status and employment position, a rough estimate is between R2,500 to R12,000 monthly across undergraduate to PhD students.

These allowances are indispensable in enabling students to pursue tertiary education, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students should assess their unique circumstances and budget expectations when applying for SETA bursaries. With proper planning, the allocations can fully finance daily student needs.


How often are SETA bursary allowances paid out?

Allowances are typically disbursed on a monthly basis over the academic year as per the signed bursary contract.

Can I use my allowances to pay tuition fees?

No, SETA bursaries cover your tuition separately. Allowances are meant for daily living expenses.

Do allowances differ between accommodation options?

Allowances may be slightly higher if you are in private residence compared to campus housing to account for rent.

Do I receive allowances during academic holidays?

Most SETAs stop allowances over December and semester breaks. Some pay a percentage for essential costs.

Can I work part-time while receiving the bursary?

Rules differ per SETA – some discourage outside employment, others are flexible about part-time work.

Are laptops provided upfront if allowances are post-graduate?

Yes, essential equipment, laptops etc. are still covered upfront if needed even if allowances are disbursed monthly.

With proper planning, SETA bursary recipients can sufficiently finance their tertiary education and living costs through the assistance provided.


Leave a Reply