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What are the differences between a Student Loan, Bursary and Scholarship?

Scholarship, Student Loans, and Bursaries what are the differences?

First of all, they’re certain things you should even know. Either you’re an international student or a citizen of your particular country, there’s a need to pay up your tuition fees and other living expenses if you’re interested in studying in university or colleges in any country. Except for some nations with free education, many countries in the world require you to plan your budget before enrolling yourself to study.

The fees and other expenses vary from country to country, fields, and even geographical location. While some are way cheap, many of them are expensive, not to mention an international student, the payment will be in double folds.

To help students in easing the burden of struggling hard for education, they’re many programs designed to help them in the struggle by providing them with enough funds necessary for their studies. Among them are varieties of offers for students to choose from according to their tastes. We have scholarships, student loans, and bursaries for students to apply.

This is why it is crucial to spend time and brainstorm in order to make a proper budget before you start your application processes. Knowing the types of fees you’re to pay and how much it may cost is more than crucial for your studies. In this article, we’ll cover the three of them and make their differences clear for easy comprehension. However, before reading through them please note these key factors;

  • Students Loan: Generally when we say loan, it means that if you’re granted, you’ll have to pay it back after a certain period of time.
  • Scholarship and Bursaries: Scholarships and bursaries are granted for free. This is to say when you’re shortlisted in any of them, you are not expected to pay back any amount of money.
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What is a Bursary?

To clear up the differences between the duo and distinguish them properly, the question of knowing what bursary means is more than necessary. Bursaries are financial aids mostly granted to individuals who are financially needy in order to start or continue their education.

Although it is one of the most confusing terms in financial aid programs. Unlike many others, bursaries are not based on academic excellence or anything of such. It is normally granted on the basis that such a person is desperately in need of funds to begin their education or halfways to their education.

It is not a competitive thing to apply and be granted as far as you are able to find any and you have met up with the requirements. It is normally considered as an award rather than a grant. It can be given by different people and organizations. A bursary can be granted by your university of studies or college, financial organizations, government, or through charity.

How do I apply for a Bursary?

Bursary applications are made easier and accessible by individuals. Normally it is always automatic as individuals’ information is accessible by the university. What this means is that since bursaries are paid to individuals from low-income backgrounds, you don’t need to go through the hurdles of serious application again. This is because as far as your funding source fall below the requirements, you’ll be granted automatically by the university according to the UK system.

The type of bursary you’re applying determines your mode of application, for the university bursary as stated above, your details are already available if you’re willing to give out your information and your eligibility will be determined either to be enrolled or not. For other types like departmental bursaries, it may not be so. They’re also bursaries for international students willing to study too. It is advisable to study through all the various universities or organizations giving bursaries to know if you’re qualified or not.

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The most prominent financial aid program for students both international students and natives is the scholarship program. They’re numerous of them for all types of programs and nationals. It is widely the most popular financial aid and equally the most efficient one.

Scholarship programs unlike bursaries and loans are based on academic excellence and it is 100% meritocracy. Scholarship programs are very competitive and mostly prioritized in most cases, while it is based on academic excellence, some scholarships are targeted at certain individuals or places.

Scholarship can come in the form of fully funded while in some cases it comes in the form of partial funding in percentage. Some scholarships are granted in form of payments while most of them are already funded with some tokens for upkeep or maintenance.

How to Apply for Scholarships

Applying for a scholarship is much more complicated than the former (bursary). The process requires you to pass many phases of steps and a lot of requirements are set.

While some scholarship programs are designed for international students, some scholarships can be granted only to citizens of a certain country. Some scholarship schemes may also be opened for postgraduates only, while some are strictly for undergraduate programs. In fact, all types of scholarships have their requirements peculiar to themselves. Since scholarship grants are difficult and competitive, individuals are advised to strictly follow the requirements and make a proper application. Most scholarships are normally applied online with few having test exams.

Students Loans

Student loans are granted to individuals by the government to cover their college or university fees until their graduation. Unlike the above two, loans are granted to students with an agreement to pay back after graduation and have secured a job.

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Student loans are not free except when you apply for some student scholarship loans to ease the burden.

They’re two different types of students loans paid to the students

  • Tuition fee Loan
  • Maintenance Fees Loan

Tuition fees Loan: This type of student loan is paid directly into the school’s account. You can’t be granted more than the actual fees of your university or college. For example, if your tuition fee is about £10,000, then the same amount will be deposited directly to the school’s account.

Maintenance Loan: maintenance loans on the other hand are the ones granted to students for their upkeep while studying in the university or college. It comprises all the fees you’re likely to spend other than tuition fees while studying. It varies with your places of study. Many factors such as your age and the income of your parents are considered before you can be granted this loan. Mostly the fees are within the range of  £11,672 a year. For masters, the loan is about £10,906 and £25,700 for a Postgraduate Doctoral degree.

Applying for the Student loan

Individuals can easily apply for a student loan through their official websites. You can also google the various types of student loans to access and determine the type you need.

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