5 Options to Pay for Your Private Education in Singapore

Are you someone who has always dreamt of pursuing your higher studies at a private institution? Are insufficient funds holding you back from living your dream? Well, if your answer is yes, you definitely need to explore more options to ease your financial burden when it comes to studying in a private institution. So what are these financing options? Who offers you financial help? How will you receive financial aid? Let us help you in answering most of your questions related to private education financing.

    1. Scholarships and Bursaries

    A few of the private universities offer scholarships to students who perform exceptionally well in their academics. Also, scholarships will be awarded to students depending on their excellence in performing arts, sports, their leadership potential, and other special talents. So how will a scholarship grant benefit you as a student? Well, mostly when you’re given a scholarship, you’ll qualify for subsidised tuition fees for your entire course duration. However, the scholarship benefits will vary from one institution to another. Also, a few universities offer financial assistance to students in the form of bursaries.

    A few examples:

    EASB: East Asia Institute of Management (International University)

    EASB renders country-based scholarships to students depending on their academic performance. Through scholarship grants, students will qualify for subsidised tuition fees for their complete course duration. Scholarships will be given to students based on a pre-defined eligibility criteria and selection process. A few of the scholarships offered by EASB include:

    • EASB Scholarships (Cambodia)
    • EASB - Yew Tee CCC Education Scheme (Singapore)
    • EASB - SAFRA Educational Sponsorship Scheme (Singapore)
    • EASB - Lions Scholarship (Malaysia)
    • EASB Academic Excellence Scholarship (China)
    • EASB Academic Excellence Scholarship (Vietnam)
    • EASB Academic Excellence Scholarship (Myanmar)

    PSB Academy: (Private University)

    PSB Academy provides scholarships to students based on their academic excellence, special talents, leadership potential, or other personal traits they possess. A few of the PSB Academy Scholarships include:

    • PSB Academy Asean Scholarship
    • PSB Academy Merit Scholarship
    • Eurasian Association, Yayasan Mendaki and Sinda Scholarships
    • PSB Academy - SISEU Scholarship
    • University of Newcastle in Singapore Merit Scholarship

    SIM University: (Private University)

    The Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) renders scholarships to students not only based on a merit system but also depending on how good they are at performing arts and sports. SIM also renders specific scholarships to ambitious entrepreneurs who are passionate about rendering their services in industries like education sectors and silver care. A few of the scholarships offered by SIM include:

    • SIM Postgraduate Scholarships
    • SIM Global Education Scholarships
    • SIM International Academy Scholarships
    • Platform E Entrepreneurship Scholarships
    • The Industry Scholarship
    • The Platform E Scholarship

    2. CPF Education Scheme

    Under the CPF Education Scheme, you will be able to withdraw your Ordinary Savings up to a certain limit. Your available withdrawal limit can either be 40% of your accrued savings or the remaining balance from your Ordinary Account savings up to the Available Withdrawal Limit (after reserving funds for other schemes/housing, etc.), whichever amount is lower will be considered. The amount that you can use will also depend on the tuition fees you need to pay. The CPF Education Scheme will cover only full-time approved subsidised courses that are conducted at a few approved educational institutions.

    Approved institutions that offer full-time undergraduate courses (subsidised) include:

    • National University of Singapore (NUS)
    • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
    • Singapore Management University (SMU)
    • Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
    • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
    • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
    • LASALLE College of the Arts (LAS)
    • Institutions that fall under the category “Polytechnic-Foreign Specialised Institution” ("Poly-FSI") Framework.
    • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

    Approved institutions that offer full-time diploma courses (subsidised) include:

    • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
    • LASALLE College of the Arts (LAS)
    • Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
    • Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
    • Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
    • Institute of Technical Education
    • Republic Polytechnic (RP)
    • Temasek Polytechnic (TP)

    Note: Out of the approved institutions mentioned above, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts (LAS) fall under the category of private education.

    Related Read: Best Polytechnics in Singapore

    3. Take Out a Student Education Loan

    CIMB, Maybank, OCBC, RHB, and DBS/POSB are a few of the banks in Singapore that offer you with education loans. Let’s take a quick look at these education loans in brief:

    Maybank Education Loan

    • You can apply up to 8 times your monthly earnings.
    • Your loan tenure can extend up to 10 years.
    • You need to be either a permanent resident or a Singapore citizen to apply for this education loan.
    • If you’re applying as a student, your age needs to between 18 years and 65 years (upon maturity of the loan).
    • If you’re applying by presenting a guarantor, he or she needs to be at least 21 years old and a maximum of 65 years old during the maturity period of the loan.
    • If you’re applying as a student, your annual income needs to be at least S$18,000 for local studies (part-time).
    • If you’re presenting a guarantor, he or she needs to have a minimum annual income of S$24,000.

    OCBC FRANK Tuition Fee Loan

    • With this education loan, you will qualify for 0% interest + you need not make any repayment when you’re studying.
    • You can apply for a loan amount that can cover 90% (maximum) of your tuition fees.
    • Comes with repayment schemes that are flexible and your monthly instalment amount can start from S$100.
    • If you’re a student applicant who is a Singapore citizen, the guarantor you apply along with also needs to be a Singapore citizen.
    • If you’re applying as a permanent resident, the guarantor you’re presenting also has to be a permanent resident.
    • If you’re a foreigner, your guarantor for the loan can belong to any nationality.

    POSB Further Study Assist

    • You can apply for up to 6 times the total monthly income from you & your guarantor (maximum of S$80,000).
    • Your repayment period can range between 1 and 5 years.
    • An early repayment fee will not be applicable.
    • You need to be a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident to apply for this loan.
    • You can apply for this loan either as a full-time or a part-time student.
    • If you’re applying as a full-time student, your age needs to be between 17 years and 50 years.
    • If you’re applying as a part-time student:
      • If your age is between 21 years and 50 years, you need not present a guarantor as long as you meet the minimum annual income requirement which is S$18,000 for student applicants.
      • If your age is between 17 years and 20 years, you will need to present a guarantor.

    RHB Education Loan

    • This education loan allows you to borrow up to 6x your monthly pay (loan amount is capped at S$100,000).
    • Your repayment tenure can go up to 10 years.
    • RHB offers you three kinds of repayment options to provide you with flexibility:
      • Standard Repayment – It is a basic scheme. After the disbursal of your loan amount, you will start repaying both principal plus interest via monthly instalments.
      • Graduated Repayment – Unless and until you complete your course of study, you’ll only pay interest for the loan amount that is disbursed to you. Your monthly instalments (principal+interest) shall begin after you complete your studies.
      • Deferred Repayment (applicable to only full-time and local study) – You need not pay anything during the course of your study. Your monthly instalments will begin only once you have completed your studies.
    • To apply for this loan, you need to be aged between 21 years and 62 years (towards the end of the loan tenure). You need to be either be a permanent resident or a Singapore citizen.
    • Minimum annual income should be S$30,000 in case you’re the main applicant or you’re applying by presenting a guarantor. If you apply as a joint applicant, you should be earning a minimum of S$12,000 annually.

    CIMB Education Loan

    • Your tenure options will range between 1 and 10 years.
    • CIMB offers the Interest Servicing repayment scheme. With the help of this scheme you’ll pay only the interest on your education loan during your course of study. Principal plus interest repayment will be initiated once the Interest Servicing Period ends.
    • With this loan, you can apply for up to 8 times your monthly pay or S$200,000 (whichever amount is lower will be considered).
    • This loan offers you unrestricted complimentary cashier’s orders and thus gives you the flexibility to manage your loan disbursement as well as cash flow according to your preference.
    • To qualify for this loan, your age needs to be between 16 years and 50 years. You need to be a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident.
    • S$24,000 is the minimum income required for you to apply. In case you’re below 21 years of age, a guarantor will be required for your loan.

    4. Opt for a Part-Time Job

    Consider taking up a part-time job while you’re still pursuing your higher education. There are a lot of part-time jobs you could choose from. To name a few, you can start taking tuitions, you can take up freelance assignments with respect to content writing, web development, and graphic designing, and you can also work as an intern or an events coordinator, etc. You might not be able to pay your complete fees using your part-time job savings but it will surely help in lessening your financial burden.

    5. Take Up a Full-Time Job and Take a Break From Your Studies

    Although this is completely a personal choice, it’s definitely one of the options you can consider. This is because, when you opt for a full-time job for a year or two, your savings can help you to a large extent in paying for your private education. Don’t let money affect your career development and growth. You could consider any of these options to help secure your future.

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