We recently wrote about ethical decisions vs double-dipping and thought it necessary to also show how that is possible the ethical way (i.e partial bursary). Although double-dipping might have legal consequences, accepting more than one bursary funding offer is not always a negative matter. Double-dipping can be for a positive reason and plausible cause. In other words, receiving funding from two or more different sources can be helpful especially when you need to supplement (i.e. top-up) of funds to cover all educational expenses. The key to this is remaining as honest and transparent as possible to avoid encountering any legal issues in the future.
What is a partial bursary?
A partial bursary is a bursary that covers a specific amount of funding which only covers you for a portion of the total amount needed. An example of this the South African Reserve Bank Bursary, which is administered by Career Wise. The bursary is capped at R95 000 per annum, which in some instances isn’t enough to cover your full educational needs. If your total educational costs are R120 000, you would be able to get another bursary to cover the difference but the responsibility is on your to inform your current bursary that another bursary will be supplementing your funding. Please make sure you read the obligations of the bursaries covering you so that you are in the clear.
The need for partial bursaries is especially prevalent at the postgraduate level. For instance, the NRF (National Research Foundation) might only cover the research aspect of the postgrad qualification, leaving you with a financial shortfall to cover tuition, accommodation, etc. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that when making a decision about which bursaries to apply for or which to accept, you weigh all your options and obligations thoroughly. Some students are not aware that the bursary might not cover the full expenses simply because they did not read the contract or ask enough questions. It is your responsibility to make sure that you find another bursary that will cover the shortfall. To avoid this issue, it is advisable that you read the bursary contract or ask for guidance before signing for the offer.
Some partial bursaries are even available within the institution itself. Students who perform exceptionally well might get a merit bursary from the institution i.e. Dean’s/faculty funding. The bursary doesn’t cover full tuition and the responsibility would be on you to supplement the remaining costs. There are also many other partial bursaries available and these include the HCI Foundation and the Moshal Scholarship. To qualify for these bursaries they check whether or not you already have funding from NSFAS and they supplement your funding to your other costs not covered by NSFAS. Other costs might include field trips for your course, research costs, and transport, etc. Career Wise has a few partial bursaries through Trust Funds and Foundations that students who are currently on NSFAS can qualify for or even students whose parents are only able to afford a portion their full education costs.
Lastly please remember that with a partial bursary you always have to be honest with all the parties involved (i.e. your current bursary and the supplementary one). In addition to that, you have to read the obligations of the offers first before accepting because you will be bound by the contracts you accept through signing.