why learners struggle to apply for bursaries

Why Learners Struggle to Apply for Bursaries

Applying for bursaries can provide students with much-needed financial support to pursue their educational goals. However, many learners find themselves struggling to navigate the application process and secure these valuable opportunities. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why learners face difficulties when applying for bursaries and offer some practical tips to help them overcome these challenges.

Lack of Information

One of the main obstacles that learners encounter is a lack of information about available bursaries. In many cases, students are simply unaware of the various funding opportunities that exist. Additionally, they may not have access to resources or guidance on how to find and apply for bursaries.

why learners struggle to apply for bursaries

Tip: Schools and universities should make it a priority to provide comprehensive information about available bursaries to their students. This can include organizing information sessions, creating informative guides, and listing bursary options on their websites. Students should actively seek out these resources and take advantage of them.

Complex Application Processes

Bursary application processes can often be complex and time-consuming. Students may be required to fill out lengthy forms, provide extensive documentation, and meet strict eligibility criteria. This complexity can be overwhelming, especially for learners who have never gone through a similar application process before.

Tip: Students should carefully read through all the instructions provided by the bursary provider and seek clarification when needed. It is essential to start the application process well in advance to allow sufficient time for gathering required documents and completing the necessary paperwork. Breaking down the process into smaller, manageable tasks can also help in navigating the complexity.

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Limited Support and Guidance

Many learners lack the necessary support and guidance to successfully apply for bursaries. They may not have access to mentors, counselors, or individuals experienced in navigating the bursary application process. This lack of guidance can leave students feeling lost and unsure of how to proceed.

Tip: Learners should actively seek out and utilize available support services. This can include reaching out to their school’s career guidance counselor, contacting organizations that offer bursary support, or connecting with alumni who have successfully obtained bursaries. Building a network of supportive individuals can provide valuable advice and assistance throughout the application process.

Competitive Nature of Bursaries

The competitive nature of bursaries can also make it challenging for learners to secure funding. Many bursary programs receive a large number of applications, with limited spots available for funding. This high level of competition can discourage students from applying or make them doubt their chances of success.

Tip: Learners should not let the competition discourage them from applying. It is essential to remember that even if the chances of securing a bursary are slim, there is still a possibility of being selected. Students should focus on highlighting their strengths, unique qualities, and achievements in their application to stand out from the crowd.

Procrastination and Time Management

Procrastination and poor time management can severely impact a learner’s ability to complete bursary applications. Many students underestimate the time and effort required to gather the necessary documentation, write personal statements, and complete other application requirements. As a result, they may miss out on deadlines or submit rushed and incomplete applications.

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Tip: Learners should set aside dedicated time for working on their bursary applications, starting well before the deadline. Breaking down the tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and creating a timetable can help with effective time management. It is crucial to prioritize the bursary application process and treat it with the same importance as studying for exams or completing coursework.

Financial Constraints

Ironically, financial constraints can also contribute to learners’ struggles in applying for bursaries. Some students may not have access to reliable internet connections, computers, or printers, which are essential for completing online applications and printing necessary documents. Others may lack the financial means to travel to an interview or cover other costs associated with the application process.

Tip: Schools and universities should strive to provide access to computer labs, internet facilities, and printing services for students who may otherwise face financial constraints. Bursary providers can also consider offering support to cover additional costs, such as transportation expenses, for learners who are genuinely in need.


Although applying for bursaries may pose challenges for learners, it is important to remember that these obstacles can be overcome with the right information, support, and perseverance. By addressing the lack of information, seeking support, managing time effectively, and not letting competition discourage them, learners can greatly enhance their chances of successfully obtaining bursary funding to support their educational aspirations.

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