Q: Hi FirstStep.me, I would like to find out more about admission into Stanford University along with financial aid they offer. I would be applying as an international student to the university.
 
A: Hi there, the Stanford University website is well put together and has all the information you require on the following links:
 
1. Stanford University website
 
2. Admissions into Stanford

Q: Hi FirstStep.me, I am in need of finance for my studies in Swaziland, please can you send some information.
 
A: Swaziland, is a tricky and very topical debate in terms of education. However in terms of what information is available for education funding for Africa there is a lot of information out there. We did find one condensed website which represents grants that are facilitated for African areas. African Grant Members Affinity Group has a breakdown of the organisations that offer funds to groups that handle these opportunities and to actual individuals in need. These fund members provide assistance from education, technology, housing development etc. So you need to go through and look specifically for opportunities towards education grants in Swaziland.

2011 spiralled some awesome happenings both at FirstStep.me and around the world. We featured some cool articles, interviews and amazing adventures on the FirstStep.me website. The World Wide Web has changed and diversified so fast that it’s become an experience of sorts to keep up with it's pace however it has been an outstanding platform to be able to participate in. Here is our best of 2011 happenings….

Q: Hi FirstStep.me, I have finished my third year of medicine at Wits University in South Africa, however I am unable to continue because of lack of funds. My academic record is good order and being a medical student is a full time education push, please can you advice me.
 
A: Here are three options:
 
1. Work whilst you study, seek employment for student medical jobs within the university or with companies looking specifically for these types of individuals. Get online and look at employment websites along with engaging with the university’s student employment/careers office.

Q: Hi FirstStep.me,
 
I currently just finished my 1st year at AFDA film school in Cape Town. The tuition fees are extremely high and I will be unable to pay for my 2nd and 3rd year of study. I just want to inquire what I can do about my problem, and what are some of the solutions? I have heard of situations where a company pays for your studies and you work for them after you are done? If this is true could you please point me in the right direction, I am desperate.
 
A: Hi there,
 
Financing your studies is an expensive process. Getting a student loan, financing your studies by getting a job (full or part-time) or being able to access a scholarship or bursary are all options and in many cases very difficult options. The few individuals who have the financial affordability to pay for their studies through their own means because they are financially stable are becoming a smaller percentage by the day. In many countries governments do subsidise student’s studies or even provide specialised student loans which are easier to manage than one from a finance house. Whatever the means to funding an education, the issue is the student wants to complete his/her studies and the institution needs their money. It’s a global problem at the moment and finding logical steps to solve the issue is becoming a conundrum of sorts.