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Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers several scholarships for students. These scholarships are based on academic merit. 

Funding rules for Council scholarships/bursaries
  • The following rules apply to all University Council funded scholarships/bursaries, including undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries.
  • All bursaries will be cancelled and forfeited should a student deregister for any reason.
  • Students who are eligible for University Council Scholarships or Postgraduate Merit Awards, but who receive NSFAS funding, will not receive University funding, however, the University award will be recorded on their academic transcripts.
  • Where a student receives multiple bursaries from Council funds that covers the same category of cost (e.g., tuition fees), then any amounts more than the cost will be reversed.
  • Specific rules are provided below for each of the Council funded bursary programmes

Some external bursaries are also listed on this page. 


Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship

For the ten most outstanding matriculants, a scholarship of approximately R50 000 is awarded. The scholarship is renewable for each year of the first undergraduate degree provided that academic performance is of a high standard. The award is automatically offered after registration. No application is required.  

Criteria: Subjects are ranked as below 

  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Physical Science
  • The next best three designated subjects. 

VC's Scholarship Conditions

VC Equality Scholarships

The VC Equality Scholarship is awarded to Top 10 achievers from Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools in South Africa. The current value is approximately R110 000 per annum.

The award is automatically offered after registration. No application is required. 

Criteria: Subjects are ranked as below 

  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Physical Science
  • The next best three designated subjects. 

VC's Equality Scholarship Conditions

University Entrance Scholarships

University Entrance Scholarships are awarded to first time undergraduate students on the basis of the NSC admission point score (APS) as follows:

  • If you achieve an APS of 51 or above (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R42000.
  • If you achieve an APS between 48 and 50 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R30000
  • If you achieve an APS between 45 and 47 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R15000
  • If you achieve an APS between 43 and 44 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R10000


  • The Scholarship is for a maximum of six (designated and non-designated) subjects only and excludes Life Orientation.
  • Remarks must be submitted to the Student Enrolment Centre by 30th September.
  • A gap year will only be honoured for one year and students must submit an affidavit or proof of what they did in the gap year. This must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
  • Applicants writing the Cambridge A & AS-Level or International Baccalaureate Qualification, will receive a scholarship for the number of A and B symbols achieved on a sliding scale ranging from R5 000 up to a maximum of R30 000.
  • NB: Students cannot be awarded the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship, the VC Equality Scholarship or Entrance Scholarship at the same time.
University Council Merit Scholarships

University Council Merit Scholarships are available for returning undergraduate full time students with an overall average of 75% and above.

No application is necessary for this Scholarship. If you qualify, your account will be automatically updated as per categories specified below.

The Scholarship is for the first attempt undergraduate degree only. However, students who require a second degree as a prerequisite to register for another undergraduate degree will also qualify for this award.

Students qualifying according to the criteria, but who are in their last year of study, will not be awarded the Scholarship. 

Students studying part-time do not qualify for this award.

The University Council Merit Scholarship received by returning students is as follows:

Overall Average


R3 000
R4 000
80% and above
R6 000
All A’s
R10 000
All A’s and 1 B (Average 77.5% and above)
R10 000


South African Radio Astronomy Scholarships

Undergraduate scholarships for 2022. 

National Olympiad Winners

No Application is necessary, however, students must provide the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office with the certified copy of their certificate. The amounts below reflect what a student is entitled to receive.

  • R20 000 for winner
  • R8 000 for top ten runners-up

Note: Only applies to English and Mathematics winners.

Sports Scholarships

Bursary awards are made possible by funding from the University itself, and by the generosity of alumni, the business and non-profit communities, and past Wits sports achievers.

Applications for sports bursaries for the academic year open on 1 April and close on 30 September. Please complete the online form. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.


Postgraduate Merit Award

The Postgraduate Merit Award aims to assist graduates to complete Honours, Master’s, or PhD degrees by research, or by a combination of coursework and research, for full-time study only.

The Postgraduate Merit Award scholarships are based on academic merit. 

Please note the minimum requirements to qualify for a Postgraduate Merit Award in 2024:

  • Honours: 75% average in the third year of an undergraduate degree and the degree must have been completed in N+1 years*
  • Master’s: 75% average in Honours, fourth year of a professional degree or Postgraduate Diploma, and the degree/diploma must be completed in N+1 years*
  • PhD: 75% average in the Master’s degree and it must have been completed in N+1 years*

No formal application is required for the Postgraduate Merit Award. Provisional offers will be sent to eligible students. Students who do not meet the criteria will not receive any communication. Please note that the award does not fund all courses.

2024 PMA Terms and Conditions

*Study support shall be granted on a timeframe of N+1, provided that successful completion of each academic year is achieved; “N” being the minimum time required to complete a full qualification, and 1 being an additional allowable year of support.  Please note that the three- or four-year duration of undergraduate or postgraduate courses varies according to your specific degree. Please interpret the N+1 accordingly.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

As of the 2021 academic year, NSFAS will no longer provide funding for postgraduate courses. This includes postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, honours degrees, masters and PhD degrees.

Students seeking funding for postgraduate qualifications are encouraged to contact and apply through the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

Harold and Doris Tothill Scholarships

The Scholarship is available to all full-time Masters and PHD students studying English or English-related fields. The amount is determined by a committee. The closing date for these applications is the 31st of March.

Applications are dependant on the availability of funds. 

Mandela Rhodes Scholarship

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is available for full-time students who are citizens of African countries.

Registered Wits students studying towards an Honours or Masters Degrees under the age of 30 years old may apply online.

Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar Programme

The Programme is an opportunity for a South African university faculty or research institute professional to conduct research in their field of expertise at a US academic or research institution.

Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme

Are you planning to embark on Master’s degree studies? Have you considered a career as an academic? Then the Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme (NESP) may be for you.

Externally Administered Overseas Funding

The Commonwealth Scholarship

Full-time, South African students who intend on enrolling at a United Kingdom University can apply online. Applications usually open at the end of August.

The Rhodes Scholarship

Students who are applying to study at Oxford University are able to apply for this scholarship

Application Form Downloads