Many universities in Singapore offer various financial assistance schemes to empower each student on their academic journey. A tertiary education is increasingly important for career prospects and it is strongly recommended to further your studies beyond secondary school.
However, it is understandable that not everyone can afford a tertiary education easily without getting into heavy debt. According to SIT, 2 in 5 students pay for their tuition fees via a loan scheme and at least 50% of students receive a bursary or scholarship to complete their studies. With over 480 schemes available, furthering your education is not out of reach.
As a full-time undergraduate, the Ministry of Education offers the MOE Tuition Grant Scheme to assist with education costs. Available to citizens, permanent residents and an international student enrolled in a full-time degree programme.
The tuition grant can be utilised at NUS, NTU, SMU, SUTD, SIT, SUSS, LASALLE and NAFA for the full duration with the credits required for graduation. However, if this is your second degree – the fees will be non-subsidised.
Part-time degree holders from SUSS who have already received a subsidy to complete their first undergrad degree will be eligible for a pro-rated tuition grant as long as they have not already received MOE’s subsidy at a higher qualification level (i.e. post-graduate or masters).
Aside from university-specific scholarships, there are many external ones that are donor-supported and most importantly, bond-free. This will allow the applicant freedom to pursue other opportunities without worrying about loan repayment due to noncompliance.
Depending on your university’s partnerships, several donor scholarships such as Rotary Club of Bugis Junction, Kewalram Chanrai Group and KKH, are completely bond-free.
There are also scholarships administered by an MOE- Appointed Secretariat Office like the Lee Kuan Yew- STEP Award, Lee Hsien Loong Award, and the University Engineering Scholarship.
Financial Assistance Schemes
Non-exhaustive list of schemes, at a glance:
Do note that these applications have separate stipulated deadlines. Please research each bursary and loan allowance procedures thoroughly for the best satisfactory results.
In addition to the Tuition Grant, the CPF Education Scheme is open to citizens, PRs and international students. A combination of loan schemes can cover almost 100% of payable subsidised tuition fees.
A CPF member can use up to 40% of accumulated savings in the Ordinary account, excluding housing loan funds withdrawn. International students need to furnish details of a guarantor upon application.
Overseas Student Programme Loan
Citizens and PRs going for an overseas immersion programme or exposure programmes can apply for this loan. Each student in school is entitled to receive the student loan only once during their course of study and they may not hold other loans or aids concurrently that covers the full cost of the overseas programme.
There is no shame in searching for a study grant or bursary to further your education, there are many options out there bonded or bond-free for you. Researching the various options from your respective universities, community, banks and courses can help you solve a seemingly insurmountable problem of financial woes.