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Postgraduate degree funding FAQs
Home > Fees & funding > Postgraduate degree funding > FAQs > UCT merit and need awards FAQ

UCT merit and need awards FAQ

  • Who is eligible to apply for UCT Merit and Need funding via Form 10A?

    Only South African (or permanent resident) applicants registering towards a full-time Honours, Master's, or Doctoral degree.

    These include:

    • First year Honours students
    • First or second year Master’s students
    • First, second or third-year Doctoral students

     You may be ineligible if:

    • Applying in 2022 for a fourth year of a bachelor's degree, LLB, postgraduate certificates or diplomas
    • registering for EAFM or a professional degree with a research component less than 33%
    • registering for MMed or MBA
    • registering for part time studies or full Coursework Master’s
    • registering for a degree at the same level (or lower) that you have already obtained (e.g. A second Honours degree)
    • working more than 20 hours per week (Note that NRF is limited to 12 hours per week)
  • What is the difference between merit and need funding?

    Merit funding is based on your Grade Point Average (GPA) and it a partial award to cover part of tuition

    Need funding is based your annual gross family income and may award up to full Cost of Attendance (Financial Aid with allowances) or GAP award (percentage of tuition bursary)

  • What funding can I be awarded via Form 10A?

    Students whose Form 10A applications are approved for funding will receive UCT Merit and/or Need sourced funding. Some students will also receive 10A Departmental or Donated/Invested funding which is outlined in the UCT Handbook 14. These awards are given in to conjunction to UCT funding and acts as a partial replacement of Financial Aid to help spread the recovered funding to enable more students to be funded and vary in value and eligibility.

    In addition, Master’s by Research and Doctoral may also be selected via nomination by the committee to receive a once-off R5,000 VC Research Scholarship that is renewable for the tenure of degree. VC Research Scholars may also be awarded UCT Financial Aid if their Cost of Attendance is not covered.

  • What is the NRF, and why am I encouraged to apply to be eligible for funding from UCT via Form 10A?

    The NRF (National Research Foundation) is government-sourced funding. The NRF is the primary funder of postgraduate scholarships in South Africa. Due to the limited funds available to UCT, we need to maximize the number of UCT students who receive funding from the NRF.

    If you want to apply for UCT Merit and Need Awards, you must make the effort to apply to the NRF if you are eligible. Reasons for not applying include that you are:

    • New to UCT (From another institution applying for Master's or Doctoral)
    • Working part-time between 12 and 20 hours a week
    • If you are applying for Master's degree and it has less than 50% research component
    • If you are applying for Honours and previously obtained a B.Tech degree
    • Older than the age limitation of NRF: Honours 28, Master’s: 30, Doctoral: 32 years.
  • Does funding administered through 10A cover outstanding fee debt/historical fee debt?

    No, funding applied for through the 10A form does not cover historical fee debt.

  • Can I apply for 10A funding before receiving an admission offer?

    Yes, you can apply for 10A funding prior to receiving an outcome for your admissions application to UCT. Note that you must have applied for admission to UCT through both your department and the central admissions office for your application to be assessed by the committee.

  • I am registering mid-year, does the 10A form apply to me?

    Yes. Students who registered mid-year are eligible to apply for funding via 10A and are to do so in the preceding year. Note that you will not receive the award until you have registered.

  • Can I apply for 10A funding if I already hold other funding?

    Yes, you are to apply to as many funding opportunities as possible as funding is not guaranteed. You need to declare all sources of funding as 10A merit and need awards are up to your Cost of Attendance (Tuition and living costs based on allowances) Note: Merit is defaulted to the live at home Cost of Attendance.

  • How do I complete Form 10A?

    The Form 10A 2022 is a fillable PDF application. This application requires PDF software such as Adobe Acrobat or any alternative.

    • First year applicants must ensure that they have applied to admissions for 2022.
    • All applicants who are eligible to apply to NRF are encouraged to apply.
    • You may apply based on merit only and/or need.
      • Merit funding is based on your Grade Point Average (GPA) results
      • Need funding is based on both your annual gross family income and depending on the value may award Financial Aid, partial GAP-tuition bursary or be ineligible.

    The Form 10A has 3 Sections:

    1. Details of Applicant (Biodemographic, Employment History, Awards)
    2. Need Section (Household Family members, Income and Assets)
    • Each household member should have their annual income and assets inserted and if they are unemployed, an affidavit is required. All other family member’s name, age, relation is to be included in the table.
    • If you are no longer living with your parent(s) and are working, proof of residence and self-support are required accompanying an affidavit and 3 month’s bank statement. 

          ​​​​3. Academic Information (Academic Plan, Qualifications, References, and degree structure)

    The references are only applicable to Master’s and Doctoral degrees. There is no template, but referees may provide information about your academic ability and personal characteristics. Your referees should email their references with the subject line: “Student Name- 10A referee letter” to generalawardsapplications@uct.ac.za

    NOTE:  ALL applicants should complete sign the declaration.

    If you are unable to sign, please fill in your initials of your full name.

  • Which supporting documents are required for my application?

    The supporting documents required depends on your degree, what criteria you have applied for funding and if based on need, the members in your household.

    • Merit applications require your:
      • ID
      • payslip (if employed)
      • Year-end transcript (if not at UCT)
      • 1-page abstract of intended research (if Master’s by Research and Doctoral)
      • 2 academic reference letters (if Master’s or Doctoral)
    • Need applications require all household member’s:
      • Certificates of identification
      • Financial documentation including employment
      • Proof of registration (if currently studying at a tertiary institution)
      • Proof of property owned (market value and bond) or leased (lease agreement)
      • Value of motor vehicles owned (if any)
  • When do I have to submit my year-end transcript?

    Applicants who are applying from another institution are to submit their final year results as soon as it is released. Students currently at UCT results will be sourced automatically.

  • Is there a specific reference template or form to use for references for Master’s and Doctoral 10A applications?

    No, there is no template. Your referees may write about your academic ability and personal characteristics.

    Your referees should email their references with the subject line: “Student Name - 10A referee letter”

  • How do I submit the Form 10A and supporting documents?

    The completed 10A application must be emailed along with all applicable supporting documentation (if possible) with the subject line: "Form 10A 2022 – First Name and Surname" to: generalawardsapplications@uct.ac.za by 31st October 2021.

  • When will I know the outcome of my 10A application?

    Applicants will first receive a receipt acknowledging receipt of application

    • If your application is incomplete, you will be sent an email thereafter stating the outstanding documents or information required. Incomplete applications may delay your application assessment to the next round
    • If you do not meet the preliminary eligibility criteria, the committee will send a denied/ineligibility letter stating your application was unsuccessful
    • If your application is complete and you have met the preliminary eligibility criteria, the committee will assess your application during selection

    Note that 10A applicant’s approved outcomes are on condition that you can register for the approved academic plan or the second admissions choice if it is within the eligibility criteria.

  • Can I apply for a 10A award if I am completing part-time studies?

    No, 10A awards are for full-time students only. You are not eligible for a 10A award if you work more than 20 hours per week, or if you are registered for certain part-time degree programmes such as the EAFM.

  • If I apply for 10A funding, can you guarantee that I will be successful?

    No. The university is unable to provide any guarantee due to the availability of funds and policy regarding the eligibility requirements. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for as many funding opportunities as possible.

  • I was unsuccessful receiving 10A funding, what can I do now?

    Unsuccessful applicants may seek alternative funding opportunities through the electronic funding noticeboard as well as consulting with their department or supervisor for any departmental or available project-based funding.

  • What happens once I am approved for a UCT 10A bursary?

    You will be sent an email offering you an award with the link to the online portal to accept the award via the electronic claim form. These documents will stipulate the time by which you have to accept the award, as well as the conditions of award.

  • What is Cost of Attendance (COA)?

    Cost of Attendance is the full cost that is needed to cover the tuition, once-off book/research and living costs (based on monthly allowances) for the academic year which you have registered.

    This differs from the career limit and is the amounts are only applicable to UCT Merit (defaulted at live at home) and Need sourced funding:

    • Once-off Book/Research allowance (Honours and Master’s: R5,000, Doctoral: R10,000)
    • Living at home covers food and travel allowances (R3,000 per month)
    • Living at UCT residence covers the residence cost and a food allowance (R2,000 per month)
    • Living in off-campus private accommodation covers food, travel, and rental allowances (R7,530-R8,000 per month)
  • How are 10A award values calculated?

    Financial Aid awards value is your Cost of Attendance less other awards received as well as direct deposits/payment made for the academic year.

    GAP is a percentage tuition bursary (partial) based on the gross family income bracket and can upheld concurrently with other awards up to your Cost of Attendance.

    Merit awards is a standardised partial award up to R20,000 (Honours) or R30,000 (Master’s and Doctoral) and can be held with other awards up to a living at home Cost of Attendance.

    10A Merit and Need Awards will be reduced to the value stated above and will be cancelled if it is exceeded (Cost of Attendance Met)

  • What happens if I pay the registration fee before receiving an award?

    Students who apply for need are not to pay for the initial fee. Should you or any other person/organisation contribute towards your fees and you are awarded Financial Aid, this will reduce the value of the award and you will not be refunded this payment. Students who receive GAP awards are to cover the balance only.

  • I also applied for another award; can I hold the 10A award concurrently?

    Please refer to Cost of Attendance for UCT merit and need awards.

    If you are awarded 10A Departmental/donor/investment funding ONLY, this can be held up to the Career limit.

    The VC Research Scholarship can be held over the Cost of Attendance limit.

  • I already claimed Financial Aid, why am I receiving another award offer?

    Students on Financial Aid will initially receive a provisional award letter with a link to an allowance form. This form is used to process the monthly allowances which is charged to your fee account for tracking purposes.

    Students will then receive the Financial Aid claim form with the award value adjusted from the initial R1 offer which is to capture on the system while the Cost of Attendance is not known.

    In addition, you may also be awarded 10A departmental/donor/invested awards to cover part of your Cost of Attendance. These claim forms serve the purpose to process the value needed to pay for your tuition and allowances that is charged to your fee account.

  • Why has my 10A award been reduced?

    UCT merit and need awards are capped to the Cost of Attendance (view Cost of Attendance above) and reduces if awarded additional funds from other sources or your tuition or living costs has decreased.

  • How will my award be paid, and why do I need a bank account?

    Your award will be paid into your UCT fee account. It will be used to pay all fees and costs that you owe UCT. Remaining funds will then be released on a monthly or quarterly basis, to the bank account you have entered on your PeopleSoft student record.

  • Why has my 10A award been cancelled/withdrawn?

    Awards may be cancelled/withdrawn as per the conditions set in the claim form such as:

    Full time employed, Cost of Attendance met, change in programme/degree, denied an academic place, exceeds career limit, unclaimed award, etc.

  • How do I renew my 10A award?

    You will automatically be sent a 10B form to complete in August, to renew your 10A award if you are continuing the same degree (or supervisor approved an upgrade). Your 10A award will be renewed, provided you have made satisfactory progress, are within the funding tenure for the degree (e.g. two years for master's and three years for doctoral), and still meet the award condition (e.g. working hour and/or income limit). The deadline for submission of completed 10B forms is 30 September each year.

    Should you be registering for a different degree (Honours to applying for Master’s admissions or Master’s to applying for Doctoral admissions) you are to apply via Form 10A.

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