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How to best prepare for your tertiary education

ICESA offers full-time and part-time study options in faculties ranging from commerce to science and information technology

ICESA will have you career-ready through premium education.
ICESA will have you career-ready through premium education.
Image: Supplied/Educor

Life after matric is a time of great uncertainty and change. While the process of finding the perfect tertiary institution can be very daunting, there are several things you need to be mindful of: what study options are available to you, the application process and the documents that you need to supply.

Most importantly you need to know the educational funding options you can use to finance your way through college.

Study options

Deciding what to study at tertiary level is a process that starts from grade 10 when learners select specific subject streams. By the time you reach matric, you should know enough about yourself to better align with a career field that works with your skills and personality. 

After doing your research and deciding what to study, you have to find an institution that will help you achieve academic excellence. Once you've found that institution, one of the most important things to do before enrolling is to find out if the qualification provided by your preferred college is accredited by the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) or the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the institution is registered with the department of higher education and training.

Colleges such as ICESA provide a SAQA ID for every programme listed in its prospectus. You can use this ID to verify the accreditation on www.saqa.org.za or visit www.che.ac.za to check if the institution is registered. 

Whether you're also seeking employment or have other activities that you participate in, you should also consider if you want to study full time or part time. ICESA offers both full-time and part-time study options in faculties ranging from commerce to science and technology. 

Must-have documents

Various documents will be required from you for along with each application form. It’s important to create a checklist for these documents to make sure you don’t leave out a single one as this can potentially harm your chances of being accepted.

The documents required typically include a copy of your grade 11 results (if you haven’t received your matric results), a certified ID copy, proof of residence and your matric certificate if it has already been issued to you.

Additionally, institutions may require portfolios or a body of work relating to the field you’re applying for. An example here would be if you’re applying to a photography or a writing programme.

Application process

Completing an application form is the first step in showing your interest in studying at any institution. There are a few important details to bear in mind before sending the application form to the institution.

Firstly, find out what mediums you can use to apply, via post, online or physically going to the institution. Secondly, check your marks and see if they meet the minimum entry scores. Thirdly, note the submission deadlines for each programme.

Be mindful of these dates to avoid missing the closing date for applications. To be on the safe side send or drop off your application at least a few weeks before the final date. Different institutions will have different closing dates, and some may even require you to undergo a test or an interview.

Financing your studies

You should consider how you plan to pay for your studies in the early stage of the application process. Most institutions have financial aid centres where you can explore the different options available to fund your studies.

Private colleges that pride themselves on offering affordable, quality education such as ICESA, offer reduced prices if you register early as well as manageable payment terms.

The most common finance options are bursaries and loans from companies that specifically deal with student loans as these offer lower interest rates than most banks.

When you're armed with all your research and your results, you can begin your journey to academic success and set your career goals into motion. As stressful as it may seem, life in college can be a lot of fun and will teach you things even outside the confines of the lecture halls.

ICESA is one of those institutions that will have you career-ready through premium education. Go out there and get that qualification you've been dreaming about; you've got what it takes to achieve success and nothing less.

This article was paid for by Educor.

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