More students applying for study loans

MORE South Africans are applying for student loans, with FNB seeing applications climb by at least 8% compared with last year.

While most loan applications are generated from Gauteng, the Eastern Cape is ranked joint fourth with North West in terms of the number of loan applications received per province, slightly ahead of the Free State and Mpumalanga.

FNB personal loans chief executive Pieter du Toit said most applications received nationally were for students studying towards a qualification at a traditional university, but in the Eastern Cape more than half of the student applications were for non-traditional higher educational institutions like colleges.

He said the majority of loan applications at FNB were made during January and February of the actual year of study.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University spokeswoman Roslyn Baatjies said students often waited until the last minute before making financial provision for their studies.

“In many cases students apply for funding late and due to the limited funds available, some students quit their studies.

“We are still accepting applications for 2015 until December 4 this year.” Baatjies said other than student loans from commercial banks, there were various other forms of financial assistance available to prospective NMMU students.

These included National Student Financial Aid Scheme loans and bursaries, merit awards for scholars and students funded through the university’s council funds, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships for academic top performers.

Students could also apply for eduloans, while course-specific bursaries were available through the departments of education, social development and health. – Cindy Preller

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