How do I get a bursary for UCT?

Accessing Higher Education: A Guide to UCT Bursary Funding

Tertiary studies open doors to rewarding careers and impactful contributions to society. However, for aspirant students facing financial constraints, the university dream often feels out of reach. Thankfully, the University of Cape Town (UCT) facilitates access to numerous bursary opportunities so money matters need not derail deserving candidates.

In this comprehensive guide, I outline everything you need to know about researching, applying for and securing this invaluable funding at one of Africa’s leading institutes of higher learning.

How do I get a bursary for UCT?


University of Cape Town (UCT Online Application: How to register)

Bursaries for 2024 Undergraduate South Africa – Funding Your Education

Access Trust Bursary 2024 Application

Overview of UCT Bursary Landscape

UCT offers a multifaceted set of funding solutions to promote inclusivity and diversity among its student body by empowering financially needy applicants. Over R500 million is allocated annually to help cover costs of pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Bursary opportunities stem from various sources, including:

  • Government funding agencies like NSFAS
  • Corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • UCT Alumni network
  • Individual private donors

Here’s an overview of the types of bursaries available:

**NSFAS Awards **

  • For financially needy SA citizens
  • Covers full tuition cost
  • Combination bursary & loan

Work Study Opportunities

  • Part-time campus work placements
  • Earn supplemental income

Faculty & Programme Specific Awards

  • Field-based funding
  • Awarded by academic departments

**Entrance Scholarships **

  • Based on academic excellence
  • Automatic assessment

Sports & Culture Scholarships

  • For achievements in non-academic spheres

This diversity enables UCT to help students from all walks of life access world-class educational opportunities.

Step-By-Step Bursary Application Process

Here is an overview of key steps in the UCT bursary application journey:

1. Review Bursary Options

Your starting point is browsing UCT’s comprehensive Online Bursaries Noticeboard.

Use filters to identify prospects based on:

  • Field of study
  • Degree type
  • Academic year

Assess each listing to determine alignment with your eligibility and studies. Johnson & Johnson

2. Evaluate Eligibility

Once you’ve compiled prospects, evaluate if you satisfy all the eligibility criteria, including:

  • SA citizenship requirements
  • Academic scores pre-requisites
  • Financial means testing
  • Specific diversity criteria

This indicates which bursaries are worth pursuing.

3. Collate Supporting Documents

Prepare all the necessary documentation upfront, including:

  • Certified copy of ID
  • Latest academic transcripts
  • Proof of household income
  • Current year acceptance
  • Reference letters

4. Complete Online Application

Access the UCT online portal to apply for your selected bursaries by fully completing the forms and attaching your documents.

Apply early to optimize your chances.

5. Submit Application

Carefully review everything before submission to prevent unnecessary delays.

6. Assessment & Outcome

If successful, you will receive a bursary offer stipulating expectations and conditions.

Diligent following of this process ensures you put your best foot forward.

Crafting A Strong Bursary Motivation

With so much competition, creating an exceptional bursary motivation is vital. Here are 5 key tips:

Demonstrate Financial Need

  • Clearly substantiate your financial situation
  • Include supporting evidence like payslips

Highlight Academic Achievements

  • Emphasize consistent excellence
  • Convey commitment to keep excelling

Showcase Non-Academic Pursuits

  • Demonstrate multifaceted talents and interests
  • Provides unique edge

Share Your Passion

  • Convey authentic enthusiasm for your selected field of study

Communicate Future Aspirations

  • Outline career goals and potential contributions
  • Helps donors visualize impact of investing in you

This advice will help your personal story and ambitions shine through.

Common UCT Bursary Queries

Here I cover some frequent bursary-related questions:

When should first years apply?

Prospective students must apply in their matric year once accepted to UCT.

What documents are required?

Typical documents include ID, academic records, financial evidence, acceptance letter and a reference letter or essay.

Can I hold multiple bursaries?

Yes, you can hold several complementary bursaries together provided all conditions are fully met.

Can international students access funding?

Limited dedicated funding exists for SADC and international students who meet eligibility criteria. The International Office can advise.

I hope these answers provide some helpful clarification. Please reach out to UCT’s Financial Aid Office for any other questions.

Final Thoughts

In closing, UCT offers diverse, substantial funding opportunities empowering eligible students to access world-class tertiary education. I urge you to thoroughly research prospects and apply timeously and professionally. With a proactive approach and carefully constructed application, you can obtain the backing needed to fulfill your academic potential.


How do I obtain an application reference letter?

Request a reference letter endorsing your bursary application from a teacher, lecturer, employer, coach or community leader who can vouch for your strengths.

What percentage of UCT students receive NSFAS funding?

Approximately 33% of the overall student body receive some level of NSFAS funding. The number increases to 50% among South African Black students specifically.

Do I need to reapply for my bursary each academic year?

Most UCT bursaries only require a single application to secure funding for your full degree duration, provided you meet renewal criteria like strong academic performance.

Can current undergraduate students also apply?

Yes, current students can absolutely apply for bursaries listed on the noticeboard. Simply identify one aligned to your field and current level of study.

I trust these FAQ answers provide helpful info. Please reach out to UCT’s Financial Aid office for any other questions. All the best!


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