Various insurance companies and firms of consulting actuaries offer bursaries for full-time actuarial study. These bursaries are comprehensive, but the candidate must normally work for the sponsor for as long as he or she has held the bursary.
It is very difficult for students to obtain bursaries for their first year of study as most companies would first like to see how the students perform academically before making the investment.
The South African Actuarial Development Programme (SAADP) offers study financing to deserving students who don’t have the finances to go to university. This includes sponsorships for the first year of study as well. More information can be obtained from SAADP.
The Department of Insurance and Actuarial Science does not keep a list of sponsors. Candidates are advised to approach the companies directly. Because the bursary holder will become a “partner” in the company, we consider it to be a good experience for the student to judge the company on how it conducts itself when approached. In this way the candidate can judge whether he or she would like to become a “partner” in a particular company.
It may be a concealed blessing not to have a bursary and therefore not to have a work commitment. The free choice of graduates, especially those with a number of exemptions, places them in a better position to negotiate an appointment.
Students who wish to study actuarial science at the University of Pretoria must indicate on their bursary applications that they intend enrolling for the BSc(Actuarial and Financial Mathematics) and thereafter for the BSc(Hons)(Actuarial Science) degree.
A full list of financial support available to students can be found here.
Merit awards paid by the University of Pretoria contribute significantly to easing the financial burden. Particulars may be obtained from the University’s Bursaries and Loans Department at the Client Service Centre. Merit awards are automatically deducted from a student’s account.
There are also annual prizes for top performers and the amounts of these vary from R1000 to R5000, depending on the company sponsoring the prize.