Costs of studying

Life is an expensive business! Petrol is always on the up, food prices are extortionate and the costs of studying just bend your bank account backwards. It's not easy being a student. There are loads of sacrifices to make, leisure is a luxury and time tends to move faster than it should. This 'costs of studying' page is aimed at shedding some light on what's in store, as well as some useful tips on how to get by.

List of University Fees:

cost of studying at a university in South Africa

At UNISA the average student takes between 4 and 6 modules per year at a cost of between R1 000 and R2 000 per module. These modules can add up to some hefty amounts of cash.
A list of UNISA fees from 2013

UCT is, as one would expect, a lot pricier.
Here is a breakdown of UCT's 1st year fees from 2013

And for another set of fees for you to compare;
here are the 2014 1st year fees for the University of Stellenbosch.

Now although UNISA offers very competitive fees compared with other universities, the real costs of studying lie in sustaining yourself from day to day. Most students only work part time, if at all. How are people supposed to support themselves in a fluctuating economy when only a small portion of time goes toward earning? Student loans can be a taxing affair and just prolong your anxiety. So what is one to do?

The guys at had some awesome tips on handling those hefty student loans. Here goes...

Know Your Loans:

Keep track of your loans. Be aware of where you stand with the lender, what the balance is and the repayment status of each of your loans.

Know Your Grace Period:

Make sure you are aware of when your payments are meant to start. Don't miss your first payment!

Stay in Touch with Your Lender:

Staying in touch with your lender is very important. If any of your details change you should let your lender know right away. It will help to stay in their good graces; it could be a lengthy relationship.

Pick the Right Repayment Option:

Investigate your options. Don’t be lazy; some solid research before you start payments could save you a few headaches and a lot of stress later down the line.

Don't Panic:

If you are having trouble making payments, because of income, health etc.; contact your lender and make an arrangement for temporarily postponing your payments. It is always best to be forthright when dealing with loan repayments. Don’t panic, initiate dialog agree on a solution.

Pay Off the Most Expensive Loans First:

If you have more than one student loan and would like to pay one of them in advance, start with the highest one. Larger loans incur higher interest.


Okay, so budgeting is the first step, but it doesn't really help your cash flow. Since you are studying and spending many an hour putting together awesome study notes, why not make a bit of cash from your laborious study time. Now you can!!

Stuvia is the No1 market place for students. It provides an online platform from which students can buy and sell their study notes; a godsend for any and all students, regardless of their situation. Basically you just upload all your hard work onto the site, and as soon as someone buys them the money get deposited into your account. Seem too good to be true? Check out our earn money for studying and sell study notes pages for more info to get you going.

If you're not too confident in your studies and making notes is not your forte then why not buy notes from other students? With the support of other students you can get reduce study time, make and eventually sell great notes and give yourself some space to breathe. Join Stuvia today and have a look at how you can either buy or sell your study notes!

Check out this short video on how to make a budget, and stay on top of your money. You might just survive the costs of studying with a great budget!

Questions? Leave a message!