Financial Problems Facing University Students in Tanzania

By Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania internship

Financial problems are one of the obstacles that students face in college in the twenty-first century. Many students struggle to make ends meet when working and going to school. To address this financial problem, students must make certain changes to their academic and job schedules. Prior education, experience, course demands, and background/history all influence the types of changes and financial challenges that students face. With the dramatic rise in college prices, students are still in a precarious financial situation. Class workloads, a desire to be financially and personally independent, and a lack of proper support networks can all lead to financial difficulties. Higher education students require more money to cover the cost of study and living in universities, as the cost of higher education in both public and private educational institutions continues to rise. Students may face financial difficulties in their daily lives as a result of limited financial resources and rising educational costs.

Financial problems faced by students could be caused by a number of problems as discussed below:

  • Lately Received Financial Assistance

Hassan, Ismail, and Harun (2013) say that financial assistance in the form of scholarships or loans for students is available. They welcome students on an annual, semester, or monthly basis. Since they must depend on other financial tools such as self-financing, family funding, borrowing from others, or applying for emergency loans from their respective HELB organization, the delay is very burdensome. This is a dilemma beyond the students’ control, and they can only wait before financial aid is obtained.

  • Limited options as sources of finance

Some students have no other means of support and depend solely on scholarships and student loans. Some students come from low-income or orphaned backgrounds. Maybe they don’t have any savings because they’ve spent all of their money and don’t want to borrow from anyone because they’re afraid of falling into debt. They may also be afraid to take part-time work because they don’t want to jeopardize their academic status. According to a survey conducted by the Online Daily News in 2011, 10,000 students at University Teknologi Mara came from low-income families. Any of these small organizations have yet to obtain funding from both public and private sources. Inadequate funding or a lack of financial support is a burden for students, particularly those from low-income families, because it can affect their academic performance (John Abdullah & Ahmad, 2007).

  • Inadequate loan or Scholarship

According to Ahmad (2005), the majority of respondents in a study on financial management trends among students who received PTPTN financial loans at University Putra Malaysia (UPM) felt that the amount of loans they obtained was insufficient to cover the cost of living and education. Students must pay for utilities and equipment needed for their studies, as well as room rent, regular meal and drink expenses, public transportation or gas fares, and other expenses. Even if they made every attempt to cut expenses, the loan or scholarship is still insufficient.

Daud, Norwani, & Yusof (2018) conducted a study about financial problems facing students in higher level of education and found the following to be financial problems that students in universities associated with

  • There are always expenses that exceed the income received.
  • Using savings for basic needs expenses.
  • Constantly worrying about financial resources.
  • Buying items using credit
  • There is no excess of money to make savings
  • Cannot afford the related bills such as mobile phone bills.
  • Cannot repay loan borrowed.
  • Looking for a loan to cover the cost of living expenses
  • Do not know where the money has been spent.
  • Not sure the amount of debt incurred.
  • Take new debt to cover old debt
  • Have no savings for emergency time.
  • Not able to buy the desired item
  • Taking cash from credit card
  • Cannot focus on lessons due to financial problems

Finally, it is clear that financial difficulties are a problem in the lives of today’s students. Furthermore, attempting to work and attend school at the same time can be extremely difficult. Education costs are skyrocketing, but students have no other means of support. Working part-time is the only way to make money. Time management, proper budgeting, self-discipline, financial education programs, and behavior modification can all help to solve the problems that come with it.


Ahmad, M. M. (2005). Kajian Pola Pengurusan Kewangan di Kalangan Pelajar yang Menerima Pinjaman Kewangan Perbadanan Tabung Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) di Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Daud, N., Norwani, N. M., & Yusof, R. (2018). Students Financial Problems in Higher Education Institutions. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(10), 1558–1565.

Hassan, H., Ismail, N., & Harun, H. (2013). Kajian Terhadap Pengurusan Wang Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) Dalam Kalangan Pelajar Semester Enam Politeknik Tuanku Sultanah Bahiyah, Jabatan Pengajian Am Politeknik Tuanku Sultanah Bahiyah, Kulim, Kedah. John Abdullah, S. A. & Ahmad, H. (2007). Kewangan & Pelajar IPT. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn Bhd.

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