Direct Talk

How to Save at University

You’ve been accepted to your dream university, and your future seems bright. The downside? You have no idea how you’re going to afford it.



TLC presenter Carissa Cupido was faced with this problem. Her dream university was Rhodes, but ultimately neither she nor her parents could afford both the tuition and the student accommodation. Her second choice, UCT, turned out to be the more affordable option because she could stay at home while she studied, thereby saving on some costs. Ultimately her second choice turned out to be the right one, and she went on to achieve success on radio and television. 

Once you’ve been accepted, a student loan can help to pay for varsity, but once you’re there you’ll need a little more to survive. Before you take the plunge try some of Carissa’s tips on university saving and earning while you study.

How to save money as a student

  1. If you’re studying away from home, try to share accommodation whenever you can. Roommates can help you split food, electricity and even clothing costs (if your roommate doesn’t mind sharing their wardrobe!) 
  2. Get a part time job - studying and working at the same time is tough, but many people do it and so can you. Look for options that fit into your studies, like tutoring school children or your fellow students- there are many ways to make money as a student.
  3. Download your textbooks or buy second-hand - many textbooks are available online, and secondhand editions still have relevant information, just check with your lecturer what will work for your course!
  4. Keep an eye out for student discounts – many stores have student specials and discount days aimed specifically at university students. Wait until these days to do your necessary shopping.
  5. Make a monthly budget and stick to it - you can ask someone with more experience to help you figure a weekly or monthly spend, and stick to that number no matter what!

Remember that a loan isn't your only option for university funding; keep an eye out for bursaries,scholarships and grants too.You could end up funding your dream university through a grant, or study something amazing that you'd never considered because you've qualified for a specific bursary. If you do have to rely on a loan to fund your studies, consider DirectAxis' tips for using a loan for your education.

Check out Direct Talk for more stories on life , money and everything in between.


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Loan repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months. The maximum interest rate with regards to a DirectAxis Personal Loan is 27.75% per annum (compounded monthly). Your rate and initiation fee will be determined according to your personal risk profile.
An illustrative example of a loan at an interest rate of 27.75% per annum would be: Loan amount R50 000 plus a once-off initiation fee of R1 207.50 and a monthly admin fee of R69.00, over 72 months.
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