For many people the option of studying beyond school level is simply not a possibility – not because of intellectual ability or geographical reasons, instead, it is finances that are deemed to make it impossible. But the truth is that if the mental capacity is there and there is a course that you want to study, then there should be no reason why you cannot pursue the dream. Certainly, online study and correspondence have gone a long way towards resolving the issue of geographical constraints. So, what can be done to overcome the financial constraints that so many people encounter along the way? Here are a few angles and opportunities that you might want to consider as your quest for your dream.
You are not alone
There are many financial institutions that will be very happy to offer student loans. Shop around to find the best student loans available and you might be surprised by the interest rates and repayment terms available. A significant part of qualifying for a loan is based on your ability to earn once you have completed your studies. So, make sure that you can see your way clear towards working or a career once you have graduated. Loan companies will probably grant financing for most courses, but they will be more inclined to finance university degrees that will end with a professional qualification – think law, medicine or architecture.
You might think that this is not a possibility for you if your marks are not top of the class. But this couldn’t be further from the truth as there are plenty of bursaries that have very little to do with marks. Spend some time researching online to find out what is available. What you will find is bursaries with all sorts of qualifying criteria – gender-based, ethnicity-based, geographically based… the list is endless. What you need to do is find as many bursaries as possible for which you qualify and apply. If you do receive funding it might not be for the whole course, but it could go a long way towards relieving the pressure.
Speak to the institution
Many universities have programmes to help students with financial constraints to make it into the institution. There is financial aid in the form of discounts and there is also the opportunity to work and be involved in the administrative or teaching aspects of university life for which you will either be paid or for which some of the fees will be off-set against. If you want to study badly enough, there are ways to make sure that it happens.
If your dream is to study, you might need to spend some time working first in order to save money to make the dream possible. For many people work means supporting a family and just paying the bills. This is a reality but try hard to save a small amount each month. Put that money into a dedicated saving financial account earmarked specifically as a study fund. When you have spare cash, or the occasional windfall put the money into this account. It might take a few years, but you will get there – just remember to always keep your eye on the prize.