Getting a Degree, Masters or Ph.D isn’t easy. But for a lot of us, it’s not just about hitting the books; it’s about getting the cash to pay off our tuition fees, rent, books, living expenses…
We all have different situations. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the different ways campaigners on Skolafund.com pay for their studies – take a look and see which one you are.
1. Help From Parents
Our parents all want the best for us – which is why these results from HSBC’s Foundations for the Future study are not surprising.
All of the parents in the study considered university education for their child. At the same time, almost 7 out of every 10 parents admitted that paying for their children’s education “makes it difficult to keep up with other financial commitments” like planning for their own retirement, paying the household bills and fulfilling rent payments. This gets even harder in unfortunate cases, such as deaths, sickness or sudden unemployment in the family.
Our parents might never ask for anything in return, but we will always owe so much to them.
2. Our Own Income/Savings
Some of us take gap years to earn some savings. Others work part-time in between classes or on the weekends. Another group run their own business, whether online or offline. Taking responsibility to pay for your own university studies is something we respect greatly, but it definitely is extremely tough.
Juggling assignments, mid-terms, presentations and practicals is already difficult for most of us, but spending your free time giving tuition and running an online hijab buisness at the same time?
Add to that students with stellar achievements like leading fundraising events and winning national competitions in International Humanitarian Law and all we can say is respect, bro.
The truth is that there are many loans available out there in Malaysia: from PTPTN, Skim Pinjaman Pelajaran MARA, KOJADI Education Loan Schemes and MIED Study Loans. (For a really good summary of the above four loans, check out this article by our friends over at afterschool.my!) Alternatively, various banks like OCBC and Maybank also offer loans.
While many may benefit from taking these loans, a large number of us either 1) do not qualify, 2) do not get enough to cover all our expenses or 3) are unable to pay our debts. Loan policies might change suddenly, leaving those who no longer qualify at risk of being forced to give up on their dreams. The burden of debt is also painful – as shown in the 2016 report of more than RM5 Billion of unpaid debt from those who had graduated, but still owed money to PTPTN. That’s more than 120 THOUSAND brand new Myvis.
Loans are definitely one way to pay off your university fees, and 6 out of 10 parents surveyed are willing to do so for their children. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.
4. Scholarships or Financial Assistance
These are lifesavers for many of us; you get funds but usually don’t have to pay it back! These are also based entirely on need or merit. Often, universities offer various schemes to support deserving students by sponsoring a % of their fees and/or providing allowances for accommodation, books, laptops or other expenses.
Not sure if you qualify? The easiest way is to visit your Finance Office and simply ask. For example, Sunway University offers scholarships for their own students. You can also check out the scholarship portal MalaysiaScholarships.my. It never hurts to try!
Bonus Recommendation: do you want to set up your very own scholarship? Make sure you keep your eyes on this awesome blog you’re reading right now because we’ll be telling you how to do so very soon.
Finally, many of us have also been able to fund our studies… through the crowd! Even before crowdfunding platforms existed, some students whose stories were highlighted through the media or went viral have managed to pay for their education with the kind donations of hundreds, if not thousands of kind people out there. The latest example is of Farah Marcella Bandie, whose story made the whole of Malaysia shed tears.
Farah raised RM8,000 in a few days – that’s the power of emotional stories, generous Malaysians and the Internet. Crowdfunding is a way for you to have the same impact, whether you are looking to fund your own studies, or help out a fellow student with even RM1 of your spare change. If you’re considering crowdfunding to pay for your university education, check out the platform we’ve built that does just that!
When your education was paid for by a group of generous donors, you’ll definitely feel motivated to work hard and contribute back to the society. There’s more kindness out there than we think.
So which one are you?
How are you paying for your university education? What tips and tricks can you share for all of us students out there? If you’ve graduated, what are some of the memories that you had of #hustling to fund your studies?
Share your stories in the comments below! We’ll read all of them and share the best ones on this blog.