Frequently Asked Questions

Some questions about the Polyoak Family Educational Foundation, answered!


Who can apply?

Applicants are children of employees of the Polyoak Packaging Group who meet the following criteria: 

  • parent or guardian of applicant has been employed for 3+ years and has a good service record

  • applicant has matriculated, or is in matric and is on track to matriculate

  • applicant will be studying towards a first qualification

  • applicant wants to study further or is studying towards their first tertiary qualification (certificate, diploma or degree)

  • applicant must apply at an institution that is subsidised by the government (FET College, Technikon or University)

What are the government-subsidised institutions in my area?

You can see a list of the available institutions here. If you choose to study through an institution other than those listed, you will not be eligible for a bursary from PFEF.

How to apply

Online applications are open from 1 May to 30 September in the year before the applicant intends on studying and needs to be completed by both the parent and their child, the applicant.

There are three bursary options: 

1) The NextGen Bursary for biological parents and legal guardians.

2) Polyoak Plus for Polyoak employees who are not biological parents but who are financially responsible for the applicant. Proof of financial support must be submitted.

3) An Engineering Scholarship for 1st-year students who passed all their subjects, have a 65% average and are from a previously disadvantaged community.

When do applications close?

Applications should be completed online by 30 September in the year before the applicant intends on studying. Late applications will not be considered and it is very important to ensure that your application contains all requested documentation.

Can a parent apply for a bursary for more than one child to study?

Yes. Of course, we will need the required documents and forms for each child. Please contact us before you apply.

Will the foundation apply to the academic institution(s) on my behalf?

No, the PFEF can only advise you on what and where to study. You need to apply and submit all relevant documentation to the academic institution. Please take note of the minimum academic entry requirements for your course(s) and closing application dates.

When you apply for the Polyoak Foundation bursary, you will need to submit proof that you have applied to or been accepted by the tertiary institution.

Does the bursary only cover my academic fees?

The bursary covers academic fees and prescribed textbooks, and essential equipment will be provided on receipt of a letter from the faculty. The bursary does not cover things like e-readers, stationery, fees for clubs or societies, transport or residence.

Will the bursary cover my full tuition fees?

This depends on the family's gross household income. The PFEF uses a Financial Affordability Formula that results in 3 possibilities: 

  1. If the family's gross household income is below a certain level, then the full cost of the course and textbooks is covered.

  2. If the family's gross household income is above a certain level, the family can afford to cover the full education fees, then no bursary is given. 

  3. If the family's gross household income is above a certain level, but the cost of the course is more than what the family can afford, the fees will cover the difference between the full fees and what the family can afford.

Can the bursary cover fees from a previous academic year?

The bursary pays partial or full fees for whichever academic year you apply for. Please contact the PFEF if you have outstanding fees and wish to apply.

Does bursary approval mean funding until graduation?

No, the bursary recipient will need to re-apply for a PFEF bursary each year. The PFEF's aim is to fund the bursary recipient until graduation of an undergraduate degree.

If the bursary recipient has been communicating well with the PFEF and is still on track to finish their qualification, it is highly likely that the bursary will be renewed. However, if the parent employed within the PPG resigns or is dismissed, the applicant cannot reapply and the bursary will terminate at the end of that academic year.

Should I apply for other bursaries as well?

Yes, the applicant should apply for a NSFAS loan and for other bursaries at the same time as applying for the PFEF bursary. The applicant should plan ahead and check the cost of the course(s) before applying and consider how the fees would be covered should the applicant not receive a full or partial PFEF bursary.

What does the foundation expect from me if I receive the bursary?

Hard work and commitment towards studies and continued communication with the PFEF is expected. The bursary recipient will be required to submit copies of their mid and end-of-year results as well as regular fee account statements to the PFEF.

What happens if I am not coping with my course?

We understand that tertiary studies are difficult and that it's not easy to admit when not coping with a course. We encourage the bursary recipient to speak up and to contact the PFEF to discuss any problems as soon as possible.

We are here to help and provide free education counselling. We will be able to give advice and help the bursary recipient re-think study options.

Do I need to work for Polyoak after I graduate?

The PFEF bursary does not require a work-back period and has no responsibility to employ bursary recipients while studying or after graduating. We encourage bursary recipients to network and look for job opportunities while studying.

Is there something we missed? Reach out with any more questions.