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Do You Know The Difference Between Student Loans, Bursaries And Grants? Explore More!

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Target Audience

Student Loans, Bursaries, Grants, Graduates, High School Students, Graduates, Students

Programme Overview

Students financial aid often comes in the form of student loans, bursaries and grants. Each financial aid package includes financial benefits, student resources, qualification requirements, pay-back period, duration, availability, and many more. It’s of paramount importance for students to be able to identify key attributes for these scholarships. This is why the author was motivated to write this article to clearly outline the differences.

Student loans are used to finance tertiary education. Basically, students borrow money from the government or various institutions to finance their education, and they pay it back at an agreed-upon interest rate. Student loans are key as they are a quicker source of cash that can be used to finance one’s education, be it tuition fees, books, pocket money, etc. Students will pay back these loans when they are now financially stable and employed; hence, they give peace of mind to the applicants so that they can focus on their higher learning without any inconveniences.

However, securing student loans is not like a walk in the park, as it often requires students with a good credit score and a source of funds. No collateral security is required since students are still incapacitated to provide it. There are also federal loans available for students, and they do not require a vigorous credit check. They are limited, as students are only required to apply for specific amounts up to a specific figure that cannot be negotiated. The challenge is that some of the funds provided by these loans are not enough to cover tuition fees and the resources needed to finance learning.

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Bursaries refer to financial benefits awarded to students for excelling in their performances, and they are not paid back after students graduate. The school, the government, private organizations, or various stakeholders that support the need to give back to the community offer them. Bursaries aim to target students who are both academically gifted and financially constrained. Some of the students possess exceptional leadership skills and are good at extracurricular activities, with evidence of awards won; hence, they can also be considered for such bursary programs.

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The fact that students cannot pay back bursaries after they graduate gives them a huge advantage in their educational journey. As a result, students don’t have to worry about paying tuition, finding housing, or buying books because these renowned programs have them covered. Even though bursaries are the best option, the competition is extremely stiff for applicants, and one needs to have graduated with distinction from their high school to stand a chance.

On the other hand, grants and bursaries fall into the same category as they cannot be paid back after the completion of the study. Grants are normally need-based, unlike bursaries, which are result-based, as vigorous checks are done to assess whether the applicants are classified as low-income earners or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Therefore, this is not merit-based but rather on needy students so that they proceed with their higher learning.


  • Lastly, loans for students, bursaries, and grants all serve a vital purpose in supporting higher learning, even though they have varying requirements. It’s up to the applicants to do intensive research so that they know where they fit well. Students should have done exceptionally well in their studies for them to withstand the stiff competition nationwide. Bursaries, student loans, and grants can be found on institutions websites, social media, and government newspapers; hence, it’s important for applicants to keep a lookout for these across various sources so as to maximize on such opportunities. We wish you the best in your higher learning journey!
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