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Sat Nov 01 07:25:53 SAST 2014

Varsity costs spur loans

SIPHO MASOMBUKA | 11 January, 2013 00:05
Stand Alone
Wits University. File photo
Image by: Sihle Maku

Cash-strapped parents are turning to financial institutions for study loans so that their children can go to university.

At the University of Pretoria, a three-year undergraduate Bachelor of Administration (international relations) degree costs R74860, a Bachelor of Arts (law) degree R71320 and a Bachelor of Information Science degree R79570.

This year already Eduloan has received 2500 applications for study loans totalling about R23-million. So far, 1500 applications to the value of R7-million have been approved, while 825 applications to the value of R8.3-million are being assessed.

Eduloan spokesman Warren Hero said the total value of study loans for 2011 and last year was R360-million and R365-million respectively.

"Loans can be given only to an employed person, so a student in need of a loan will need someone who is employed to apply on his or her behalf," he said.

Hero said many applications were declined due to adverse credit records.

According to University of Pretoria spokesman Nicolize Mulder, it provided R631-million in financial aid, bursaries to the value of more than R422-million and study loans to the value of more than R208-million. These loans included more than R137-million from the state-administered National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

"Loans are awarded to students who are financially needy," said Mulder.

A BA degree costs R24000 a year at the University of Johannesburg; R34000 at the University of Cape Town and R59000 at Monash University, South Africa.

The Department of Higher Education said it had increased the National Student Financial Aid Scheme allocation to tertiary institutions from R2-billion in 2008 to R7-billion last year and 991759 students had benefited from R25-billion in loans and bursaries between 1991 and 2011.

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