Thinking of applying for a bursary?
A bursary is a form of financial assistance that can help you cover your educational expenses if you can’t afford to pay them in full. Bursaries are offered by educational institutions like universities as well as other organisations and companies.
It’s important to note that each bursary is structured differently, from the duration and the amount of money offered to the criteria that potential candidates must meet. What’s more, many corporate bursaries come with a “service contract” - which will require you to work for the company offering the bursary for a set period of time (usually a year) after you complete your studies.
This is why doing plenty of research is important. It will allow you to find the bursaries you’re actually eligible for, and the ones that best fit your needs and situation. And the best news? There’s a whole range of bursary options available for study within the architecture field. Keep scrolling for some handy bursary application tips.
Don’t wait until the last minute – start exploring your funding options early. Familiarise yourself with the different bursaries available and their closing dates (you’ll find a handy list of architecture-related options here), and make sure you research what’s involved in the application process. It can take time to prepare the necessary documents and information, and submission deadlines can roll around more quickly than you think.
Some bursary programmes require you to secure a place at a tertiary institution before you apply for funding, so make sure those university applications are on track. Here’s a list of handy tips and links to help you with your tertiary application process.
The purpose of your application is to convince the bursary donors that you’re a candidate who is worth their financial investment. A strong, well-written motivation letter can help to highlight your skills and achievements.
Some bursary programmes require a recommendation letter (sometimes more than one) to be submitted with your application. You don’t want to leave this to the last minute - give yourself plenty of time to approach teachers or other mentors who know you well, and provide them with any available details about the required format and content of the letter.
Don't leave anything out
It’s incredibly important that you complete the application form in full, and submit all the necessary documentation in the right format. Requirements and criteria can vary a lot depending on which source of funding you’re applying for – so read carefully and make a detailed checklist to ensure you don’t leave anything out.
Your application needs to stand out from the competition - for the right reasons! Make sure avoidable mistakes don’t hurt your chances. A rushed, incomplete submission that’s full of errors or spelling mistakes (or one that’s sent after the deadline) will no doubt cost you the bursary. Bursary committees want to know they’re awarding funding to a well-prepared and deserving candidate.