FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Undergraduate study
  • Does FirstRand offer scholarships for undergraduate or honours degrees?
    No, the FirstRand Scholarships are for international postgraduate (Masters and PhD) study only.
Local (South Africa) study
  • Does FirstRand offer scholarships for postgraduate degrees at South African Universities?
    No, the FirstRand Scholarships are for international postgraduate study only.
Application to international universities
  • Do I have to apply to my international university of choice before I apply for this scholarship?
    Yes, the closing date for international universities is usually before the FirstRand Scholarship closing date.
  • What happens if I have not yet received my acceptance letter from my international university of choice before the FirstRand Scholarship closing date?
    We realise that many international universities only send out acceptance letters after the FirstRand scholarship application closing date. Please send your acceptance letter to firstrandpgscholarship@firstrand.co.za as soon as you receive it, before mid-April 2021.
Reference letters
  • How many reference letters do I need to submit?
    You need to submit at least two reference letters and at least one needs to be a reference from an academic if you were at university less than six years ago. If you have been working for the past six or more years, you still need to submit two reference letters, but one does not have to be a reference from an academic.
  • Will you contact my referees on my behalf?
    No, it is your responsibility to attach at least two reference letters to your application form. If your referee would like to submit a confidential reference, he/she can send it to firstrandpgscholarship@firstrand.co.za clearly marked as your reference. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referee sends the letter to us. We need to receive all reference letters before the closing date for applications.
Various scholarships
  • Which scholarship do I need to apply for?
    If you wish to apply for the masters in African Studies or masters in Education Scholarship to the University of Oxford, please complete the FirstRand Oxford Scholarships application form. Should you wish to apply for a scholarship to attend your university of choice for any field of study, or specifically for a postgraduate degree in Education, please complete the FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship, FirstRand Foundation Scholarship or FirstRand FNB Fund Education Scholarship application form.
International study
  • Can I apply for these scholarships if I have studied overseas before for degree purposes?
    No, this scholarship is for first time overseas study only.
  • Can I apply for this scholarship if I have participated in short courses overseas?
    Yes, if you were given the opportunity to study short courses overseas, but your overall degree was obtained from a South African university, you can apply for these scholarships.
  • Can I apply for these scholarships if I have to start studying early in 2021?
    Yes, we realise that some international universities/courses start in January or February every year. If you make it onto our ‘long list’, we will interview you by telephone or Skype. But if you make it through to the final round of judging, you will have to come through to Sandton in person on 14 or 18 May 2021.
Joint degrees
  • Can I apply for these scholarships if I wish to do a joint degree between a South African and International university?
    No, these scholarships are for full time international study only.
Part Time Study
  • Can I apply for these scholarships for part time or correspondence international study?
    No, these scholarships are for full time international study only.
South African citizenship
  • Can I apply for these scholarships if I am not a South African citizen?
    No, these scholarships are for South African citizens only.
Technical issues
Timelines
  • What are the timelines for the 2021 FirstRand Scholarships?
    Closing date of all applications is Thursday 4 March 2021
    Initial evaluation is from 12 to 29 March 2021
    Long list interviews in Cape Town and Johannesburg are from 7 to 23 April 2021
    Final judging: FirstRand FNB Fund Education Scholarships, Sandton 14 May 2021
    Final judging: FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar, FirstRand Foundation and FirstRand Oxford African Studies Scholarship, Sandton 18 May 2021.