What can you buy with a monthly student’s stipend?
By Nikolina Atanasova
With a monthly student’s stipend, the students cannot pay their rent and utilities, not to talk about other daily expenses. A rent for an apartment in Stip is between 2500 and 3000 denars per students (around 50 Euros). And for utilities the student need additional 2000 to 2500 denars (from 30 to 40 Euros). We put aside the expenses for food, transport, books and everyday necessities, for which a student need at least another 5000 denars (some 80 Euros). The monthly student’s stipend varies between 3000 and 5500 denars (around 50 and 90 Euros).
Some of the students use their stipend to pay the driver’s exam, some give their stipend to their parents to help them and ease their hard everyday life, others are spending to buy clothes and other things, but almost no one can use the stipend to pay their studies. The financial help from the parents is necessary and essential.
Natasha Ivanova, student from the Law Faculty from the State’s University Goce Delcev from Stip says:
-There is not enough money. From my stipend I have managed to buy some clothes, to take my family for a treat and I spent the rest of the money on going out and on travelling. My parents are paying for my studies. Financing my needs from my stipend is almost impossible.
The students are stipend users for nine months, as long as one academic year lasts. The enrolled students on the Faculty for informatics have the highest stipend – 5500 denars, the students with the high academic achievements get stipend of 4000 denars and the students that are coming from families with low incomes or are enrolled on technical faculties – 3000 denars.
Dean Manov, a student from the Faculty for medical sciences is in a group of students who have stipends for high academic achievements. So, he told us how he uses this financial help:
-I try to keep my stipend because it can be continued only if I have high achievements. The first year when I got my first stipend, I have spent it on things that were necessary – a phone, hardware for the computer, clothes and I left small amount for my daily expenses. With my second stipend I plan to travel somewhere.
According to the data from the State Statistical Office, in Republic of Macedonia, in the academic 2013/2014 there were total 57746 students. In the first year of studies in that same academic year, were enrolled total 19173 students or 33.2%.
Regarding the financial problems that students are facing with Dean says:
-I cannot say whether the money from the stipend are covering all the needs of the students, since I am not using it all the time, but I think, at least to me, the stipends are enough for us.
The state is providing total 2905 stipends per academic year in several categories. But, many students who are qualified for a stipend do not have a chance to get one due to the limited number of stipends.