PRICE OF AN EDUCATION: Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price says that a typical year of study at UCT costs the undergrad a whopping R80000. picture: gallo images
UCT has introduced a new financial policy to make more funds available to a larger group of students.
The policy will improve financial assistance for South African undergraduate students.
UCT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price said: “When making financial aid packages available to students, UCT considers the total cost of study which typically includes course fees, accommodation, food allowance, local travel, books and sundries.
On average, a typical year of study will cost a student R80000 a year. The extent of the financial assistance UCT will give to a student depends on their particular annual family income and circumstances.”
Price said that in the poorest case where families earn between nil and R50000 a year the university will cover almost all of the total cost.
“Those families with very little income will be expected to pay R1000 for the year and financial aid will cover the rest (R79000).
“Families with a slightly higher annual family income but still under R230000 will be expected to pay a slightly higher contribution,” Price said.
The financial scheme will apply for all undergraduate students. The money comes from four sources: UCT is contributing R101 million, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) an expected R120m, other donors such as corporations and alumni an expected R200m and specific merit-based scholarships R20m.
“We have implemented this financial aid mechanism to ensure that lack of finances is never an obstacle in coming to UCT. It is very competitive to get an academic place at UCT.
But if a student has succeeded in this, there should be no financial reason for the student not to take up his or her place at the university,” he said.
Price said that the enhanced financial aid policy meant students with family incomes between R230 000 and R480 000 could apply for a UCT bursary to assist them towards covering parts of their course fee costs. Because these were bursaries, the money given towards the student’s study fees did not need to be paid back.
However, a portion of NSFAS funding usually had to be repaid, subject to academic performance, he said.