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5 Hacks to Obtain a More Affordable Education

Published by Afterschool.my on Sep 20, 2017, 12:08 pm

Don’t Limit Your Search for Scholarships to Just the ‘Popular’ Ones

We know what you’re thinking: Duh! Who doesn’t look for scholarships, right? Pfft.  But the fact of the matter is, most local students are blissfully unaware of just how many scholarships are opened up throughout the year. Everyone’s familiar with the heavyweight scholarships offered by the likes of JPA, Bank Negara, etc. But how many of you know that there are dozens upon dozens of other scholarships offered by companies such as ZALROA, Ajinomoto, Intel, UEM and Maxis just to name a few. The list really is staggeringly long, and all you have to do is keep a watchful eye out.

Look out for Convertible Study Loans 

Study loans can be an incredibly daunting prospect to sign on for. Even once you omit the nefarious establishments that dangle such offers and only consider the well-established brands and names like PTPTN and ECM Libra, the very thought of paying such an exorbitant amount is scarier than any horror movie this side of the decade. Add to the mix a pesky interest rate, no matter how reasonable, and the whole idea becomes neigh on impossible to materialise. This is why convertible study loans are a hidden gem, and something many students have yet to unearth. Take PTPTN for example. Only some know that students who obtain First Class Honours for their degree can have their loan converted to a fully-fledged scholarship. Then, there’s Yayasan Bank Rakyat’s Pinjaman Pendidikan Boleh Ubah (PPBU), which offers discounts of 50%, 70% and 90% if you achieve a CGPA of 2.50 -2.99, 3.00 – 3.49 and 3.50 – 3.74 respectively.

Have a Stab at a Free Online Course

Did you know that right this very instance, you could easily boot up a computer or laptop and sift through a myriad of online courses for absolutely free? Shocked? Don’t be, for it’s been available for the better part of a decade. The advantage of getting into it so late in the game is that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Of course, most of these are teasers, early chapters of certain courses. However, they also include in-demand subjects like select programming languages, as well as short courses offered by hallowed universities such MIT and Harvard. Getting certified is a possibility too, which requires a small fee, although in the bigger scheme of things, merely a drop in the water and nothing more.

Be Mindful of the University/College Location

A large chunk of your expenditure will obviously be composed of tuition. However, coming in a close second would be the rent you’ll have to pay for the type of accommodation you choose. It may not seem like much at first, but once your multiply your monthly rent by 12, and then by x number of years, just make sure to pick your jaw off the floor. If your purse strings are tight, then it would be best to look for a campus away from areas adjacent to campuses, that would see an astronomical rise in rent charged by the surrounding tenants. Another option would be to release your inner Bond and scout the area our way beforehand, looking for a good deal with a legitimate renter that’s neither too close, nor too far away. The ideal solution however, would be on-campus accommodation. Base rent for this may still be on the high side, but the combination of not having to worry about electricity bills, close proximity to classes and guaranteed security is priceless.

Look for Universities Offering Tuition Waiver and/or Rebate Schemes

Many students automatically tune themselves out the moment the word ‘private institution’ is uttered, for their fees are undoubtedly a lot higher than their public counterparts. However, many private institutions have been making huge strides in making their programmes hugely more accessible by making them more affordable, their efforts culminating in the introduction of tuition waivers and rebate schemes. A rebate scheme is basically an incentive, giving students anywhere between RM1000 to RM3000 back for simply enrolling in Foundation, Diploma, Degree and Master’s programmes. Tuition Waivers is where it gets vastly more intriguing. In essence, if you study hard and maintain a high CGPA, you could receive a discount of up to 50% off the semester tuition fee. Maintain this every semester, and you’re looking a 50% every semester during your course, which, as you can imagine, adds up!

A great education can also be an affordable one. Click here to find out more

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