Stellenbosch University Bursaries and Loans

Sport Bursaries:

A number of special bursaries are available for those who have excelled at sport. You may obtain further details of these bursaries from Maties Sport at 021 808 4642 or matiesport@sun.ac.za. The Sports bursaries are not included in the Bursaries and Loans Yearbook.

Maties Sport

Other Bursaries (all included in the Calendar):

A large number of general bursaries for study in any faculty, as well as bursaries for study in a specific faculty or department, are described in the Calendar​​ and are available to students who are academically deserving and/or financially needy.

​First-year merit bursaries

In respect of First-year Merit Bursaries, the criterion used is the actual average of a prospective student’s final Grade 12 exam results (calculated based on a combination of the six best subjects required to gain admission to Baccalaureus studies at a university, excluding Life Orientation and Mathematics Paper 3), as indicated by the respective education departments. ​​

Merit Bursaries are calculated as a percentage of the basic tuition fees (excluding module costs). Following registration and once results have been announced, an algorithm with a given budget amount and fixed budget parameters is used to calculate the amounts to be allocated. The calculated amounts are then automatically transferred to the beneficiaries’ student accounts in April.

The following scale is applicable to first-year merit bursaries

Matric average% rebate on basic tuition fees (excluding module cost and/or programme cost)*
​90% or higher ​up to 40%

*Module cost and/or programme cost, which may include the following: materials fees, laboratory fees, travelling expenses, running costs, programme levy and the membership dues for any faculty-bound, academic societies, as applicable to a programme or module. 

Important: Only students who completed their exam two or more years prior to the year in which they plan to join the University, as well as candidates who completed their exam outside the provincial education departments, are required to apply for these merit bursaries by submitting a certified copy of their matric certificate to the Undergraduate Bursary Office.​ The onus rests on the student to verify by June of the specific academic year in which they are entitled to a merit bursary to ensure that it reflects in their student fee account. The student will forfeit their claim to a merit bursary if it does not reflect in their account, and the student failed to notify the Centre by the end of August.

Senior Merit Bursaries

In respect of Senior Merit Bursaries, the criterion used is the weighted average of the exam results for the previous year of study. Senior Merit Bursaries are calculated as a percentage of basic tuition fees (excluding module costs and/or programme cost)*.  As the allocation of these bursaries is an automatic, computerised process, students do not need to submit an application.

*Module cost and/or programme cost, which may include the following: materials fees, laboratory fees, travelling expenses, running costs, programme levy and the membership dues for any faculty-bound, academic societies, as applicable to a programme or module. ​

Senior merit bursaries are awarded to the top 5% per faculty. Qualifying students will receive a rebate of 20% on basic tuition fees (excluding module costs).

Criteria for merit bursaries:

Candidates for senior merit awards shall:

  • be senior undergraduate students of the University
  • be full time students of the University
  • take an appropriate degree programme
  • take the full number of modules prescribed for the year of study concerned
  • obtain a weighted aggregate of not less than 75% over the full academic year of the University (Note – if you studied at another institution and obtained an weighted aggregate of at least 75%, you may be considered for a SU senior merit bursary on a case by case bases)​

Important: The onus rests on the student to verify by June of the specific academic year in which they are entitled to a merit bursary to ensure that it reflects in their student fee account. The student will forfeit their claim to a merit bursary if it does not reflect in their account, and the student failed to notify the Centre by the end of August.

Cancellation or reduction of merit bursaries

US merit bursaries may not be kept in conjunction with an other bursary. The University reserves the right to decrease or cancel the offer accordingly.

The merit bursaries of students who discontinues their studies in the first semester, will be cancelled.

Merit bursaries to students that studied at other institutions

Students who studied at other institutions, do not qualify for First-year Merit Bursaries, but can be considered for Senior Merit Bursaries if their weighted average was 75% or higher. These students should submit their results to the Centre for Bursaries and Loans. ​

​Continuation of Recruitment Bursaries for current students:

Follow this link to view the continuation criteria for current Recruitment Bursary students.

Bursary loans for financially needy students

1. SU LOAN

The University offers tuition loans for students from the missing middle household. 

  • Loans for the income group between R350 000 – R600 000 (subject to availability of funds)
  • Households with income between R600 000 – R1 million with two / more children at a tertiary institution are also considered for a 50% tuition fee loan
  • Interest-free loans repayable at the prime interest rate
  • Only the tuition fee is covered by the US Loan (includes registration fee)

2. NSFAS BURSARY

Follow the NSFAS link: http://www.nsfas.org.za​

  • “Fully subsidized free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans” – up to R350 000 household income per year
  • Bursaries are available only for new first-time admitted students to undergraduate studies at public higher education institutions
  • The bursary includes the following study costs: tuition, accommodation and books, cost allowance

​Closing dates for applications:

  • All bursary and loan a​pplications administered by the University: 31 August
  • Last day to submit all documents: ​11 September. No incomplete applications will be considered after this date
  • Private companies have different closing dates for their bursaries. See the Calendar ​​for the particulars.
  • NSFAS Bursary 30 November

Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.