When you have applied for funding from Nsfas it is very important to view the My Nsfas portal to see your NSFAS account. To check on your NSFAS application status go to the My Nsfas login page (this is the official NSFAS website) to go and check on your My Nsfas status.
My Nsfas Login For Full Bursary Details
The My Nsfas student portal account is your personal page featuring all your information related to your MyNsfas account. Here you will find all the details on your NSFAS bursary online application and you can see the very latest on your NSFAS funding process.
The great thing about it is that since 2018 you don't need to repay NSFAS funding as it is a full bursary and no longer a NSFAS loan as it was before 2018. In 2023 NSFAS also introduced the NSFAS bank account.
The process to make the NSFAS bursary online application has also been simplified a lot in 2024 and it doesn't require many supporting documents at all.
NSFAS Closing Date
If you haven't applied yet, then you should. Don't wait until you have been accepted by the university or TVET College where you want to study. If you do it will be too late as the NSFAS closing date is before you application will be accepted.
The NSFAS application system usually opens in October each year and close a few months later. The TVET College applications are in line with the college registration dates.
What is a NSFAS Status Check?
Once you have applied for your Nsfas bursary to cover your student fees, accommodation costs and other incidentals - you will want to be aware of your NSFAS status to know how your bursary application is going.
NSFAS Application Status
It is important to keep a track of your application status with NSFAS on the official NSFAS website after you apply for financial assistance. You can do a status check on your NSFAS account by logging in to the MyNsfas student portal and submitting your ID number.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme took the decision a few years ago to have a student centred model. That means they will work directly with you the student and won't deal with you through your university or TVET college. So you can login to the website at any time to access your NSFAS account, or contact them via the phone line or social media contacts to do a NSFAS status check on your financial assistance.
For your 2024 NSFAS application the process has been simplified so you don't usually need to submit any supporting documents. When you enter your South African ID Number the system can check immediately with Home Affairs to confirm your identity.
One advantage of just applying for NSFAS is that you usually won't have to apply for university registration and tuition fees will of course be covered if you are successful and your NSFAS status is approved.
Understanding what you're reading when you're checking your NSFAS account and your NSFAS application status is of utmost importance. There are many different NSFAS application status codes that are used and they have specific names. Here's what your NSFAS online application status means on the MyNSFAS portal.
This status message means that your application has been loaded on to the NSFAS system successfully.
The system checks if you are a returning student and whether you have any previous qualifications. NSFAS will only fund you for your first qualification so if they find out that you have a qualification already you won't be able to get funding from them.
You will see that status message when NSFAS is conducting third party checks with SASSA and the Department of Home Affairs. They have to confirm if you are a SASSA beneficiary as this will help your bursary application. If you have any problems with your ID number registration at Home Affairs it is best to correct that in good time before starting your NSFAS online application form.
NSFAS is verifying all the documents you have submitted during your application.
NSFAS is verifying your household financial status that was declared in your application. At the moment to qualify for NSFAS funding you must come from a household where the combined household income is not more than R350,000 from either one or both of your parents. If you as the applicant are living with a disability the annual household financial earning can be as high as R600,000.
Awaiting Academic Results/Admission:
NSFAS is checking your academic results and your institution admission status to ensure that you meet the requirements to be funded by NSFAS. Many find themselves to stay on this step for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution.
NSFAS is receiving data from your institution to enable them to create a bursary agreement. This is another step students find themselves on for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution.
Signing Of Agreement:
At this stage, you need to sign your bursary agreement so that NSFAS can disburse your allowances.
Your allowances are now being paid either through NSFAS mobile wallet system or through your institution. Students are advised to continue to monitor the myNSFAS portal for updates.
Keep Your Login Details Secure
It is important to keep your login details to the official NSFAS website secure so that noone else can access your account. You will need to reset MyNsfas portal password if you thing someone else has accessed your account. Once you chance NSFAS login details make sure you keep the MyNSFAS portal password secure.
Students at TVET Colleges and public universities receive the following allowances:
Understanding what you're reading when you're checking your NSFAS application status is of utmost importance. There are many different NSFAS application status codes that are used and they have specific names. Here's what your NSFAS application status means.
TVET College Allowances:
Transport (up to 10 km from the institution): R7 718 per annum.
Living allowance: R6 000.
Incidental/personal care allowance: R3 045 per annum.
Students attending national universities will receive these allowances:
Transport (up to 40 km from the institution): R7 875 per year.
Living allowance: R15 750 per year.
Book allowances: R5 460 per year.
Small expense allowance of R2900 per annum for students who are registered for ten modules or more.
Learning material allowance of R600 per module for the first four modules (or once-off R5200 for five to ten modules).
What NSFAS Funding Is Available For Student Accommodation?
If a student stays in an accredited university residence, NSFAS typically covers the full cost, as stipulated by the university's fees structure. In 2023 a a cap was introduced on the amount that would be paid for accommodation. This has been set at R45,000 per year.
Many students have found that this is not enough to pay for decent accommodation near to their campus - particularly in big cities where accommodation is generally more expensive.
NSFAS also provides funding for students living in private leased residences that are accredited by the university or TVET college.
The amount allocated for private accommodation varies, but there's an approved rate set by NSFAS in consultation with institutions. This rate is designed to be competitive and representative of reasonable private accommodation costs.
In addition to the accommodation allowance, NSFAS provides students with a monthly living allowance. This is meant to cover costs like food, personal care, and other day-to-day expenses.
If a student lives at home or in accommodation that's not close to the campus, they might be eligible for a transport allowance instead of an accommodation allowance. This is to assist with the costs of commuting to and from the institution.
Some Advice When Applying For NSFAS Bursary Funding
Applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary can be a critical step in financing your education in South Africa. Here some helpful advice from industry experts to help you when applying:
Begin the NSFAS application process as soon as possible. It isn't 'first come first served' but don't act like South Africans normally do and wait for the last minute to do anything.
The official closing date is the 31st of January 2024, but why not get started as soon as possible! This helps to avoid last-minute rushes and ensures that you have ample time to gather any documents they may ask for.
Understand Eligibility Criteria:
Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying. NSFAS supports South African citizens who are in need of financial aid and intend to study at a public university or TVET college. Read through the information on our website to see that you meet the combined family income threshold.
Don't Lie On Your Application:
In previous years some people thought it would be clever to pretend their family income was lower than it was. This seemed to work at first and they got into university or college - but then when NSFAS checked - and they do - they were found out!
Then NSFAS withdrew their funding and the students were left owing many hundreds of thousands of Rands to their institutions and their landlords!
Gather Necessary Documents:
This shouldn't be too difficult. Most people will find they dont need too many documents as NSFAS are able to communicate directly with organisation like SARS and Home Affairs. However if they do come back to you and ask for more supporting documents you can upload them onto the MyNsfas student portal.
This usually includes your ID document, proof of household income, and academic records.
Submit Application Online:
NSFAS applications are usually submitted online via their official NSFAS website. Ensure you have a reliable internet connection and understand the online submission process.
Keep Passwords and Login Details Secure:
After creating an account on the NSFAS portal, keep your login details and password safe for future access. You don't want anyone to login to your account and try to hijack your application and funding.
Don't Forget To Also Apply To University Or College:
The NSFAS funding isn't paid to you - most of it is paid to the university or TVET College and the allowances are only paid once you are registered at the institution.
So there's no point being accepted at NSFAS if you don't have a place at a TVET College or public university. So make sure you also apply to university or TVET College and the ID number you use when you apply at the educational institution will be linked to the NSFAS application you made.
Check for Updates Regularly:
Regularly check your email and the NSFAS website for updates regarding your application and NSFAS status. They will also communicate via cellphone so if you can cellphone number be sure to check your email.
Be Aware of Deadlines:
Pay close attention to NSFAS applications deadlines and ensure your application is submitted well before the cut-off date of 31st January 2024. You have to start the application process early, in plenty of time on the online portal.
If you want to do a NSFAS status check on your funding application you can read our article on how to contact NSFAS - called: contact NSFAS.
Frequently Asked Questions About NSFAS
1. If approved, how will NSFAS funding be disbursed?
Upon approval, NSFAS will disburse funds directly to the educational institution. This covers tuition fees, accommodation, and other allowances. Certain allowances, like transport and living allowances, might be disbursed directly to the student's bank accounts. Use your NSFAS login to go online and confirm that your NSFAS status is correct by running a NSFAS status check.
2. Do I need to repay NSFAS funding?
Before 2018 NSFAS was a loan scheme. After graduation, or once they started working, beneficiaries were required to repay their NSFAS loan. However this was changed from 2018 and NSFAS became a full bursary scheme.
Students who accepted NSFAS funding when it was a loan are still expected to pay back the loan. However students who started with NSFAS from 2018 when it was turned into a bursary, are not required to pay anything back.
3. Can I apply if I am currently funded by NSFAS but want to change my course?
Yes, you can. However, it's essential to inform NSFAS about the change to ensure that funding is adjusted accordingly. Remember, NSFAS funds a specific number of years based on the course's duration, so any extra years might not be covered.
4. Can I still apply if I have a previous qualification?
Generally, NSFAS is designed for first-time undergraduate students. If you have previously graduated with a qualification, you might not be eligible. However, there are exceptions, especially for postgraduate courses that are in line with priority areas set by the government. It's advisable to contact NSFAS or check their guidelines for specific details.
5. What happens if my application is unsuccessful? Can I appeal?
Yes, if your NSFAS application is unsuccessful, and you believe there was an error or oversight, you can appeal the decision. The NSFAS website provides a detailed guide on the appeal process, including deadlines and the necessary documentation. So login on your computer or mobile device to check on your MyNSFAS account.
6. How many students is NSFAS currently supporting?
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa said in January 2023 that the organisation received 1,5 million applications for the academic year. Around 613,000 applicants are provisionally funded for the upcoming academic year.
At the end of January, Nsfas had received 1,587,968 applications from prospective beneficiaries. A total of 613,909 applications have been provisionally funded, of which 338,320 are continuing-students and 275,589 are new applicants.
7. What is the NSFAS Mastercard account?
When the government bursary support scheme announced the introduction of the new National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) mastercard for bursary recipients, it also explained that this is part of its digital transformation efforts.
“To correct issues with the payment of allowances, the Scheme sought an alternative, secure and student-centred approach which will see students receiving their allowances through a bank card,” shared the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr. Blade Nzimande.
In 2022, Nzimande also indicated that NSFAS will pilot this solution with a number of students first, following which the full roll-out will occur in a phased approach for 2023.
In a statement, the Scheme has announced:
The NSFAS Bank Account for university students is finally here.
Students have been advised to register for an account, and also check whether their institution of learning has been listed for onboarding.
Here are the institutions that will be onboarded by eZaga:
- Durban University of Technology
- Tshwane University of Technology
- University of Free State
- University of Limpopo
- University of Zululand
- Vaal University of Technology
Here are institutions that will be onboarded by Tenet Technologies:
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- University of Kwazulu Natal
- University of Venda
- University of Pretoria
- University of Western Cape
- University of Witwatersrand
- Walter Sisulu University.
Here are institutions that will be onboarded by Coinvest:
- Rhodes University
- Sefako Makgatho Health Science University
- Sol Plaatjie University
- Stellenbosch University
- University of Cape Town
- University of Mpumalanga
- University of South Africa
Here are institutions that will be onboarded by Noracco:
- Central University of Technology
- Mangosuthu University of Technology
- Nelson Mandela University
- North West University
- University of Fort Hare
- University of Johannesburg
Some of the NSFAS recipients have shared that they are excited as student allowances will be easily accessible through this new method and they will no longer be forced to wait in long queues to withdraw their funds.
NSFAS has promoted one of the perks of using the NSFAS bank account includes being able to put your savings to good use and invest in their future.
Students will also benefit in using their savings by starting their own business, purchasing investigating equipment whilst keeping a healthy flow of their money, says NSFAS.
By doing so, students will grant themselves a platform to have practical pre-work experience on what they are studying.
The bursary scheme has also advised students to limit the number of times that they eat out and rather do a monthly grocery shopping instead.
8. Are Personal Banking Details Necessary for NSFAS Onboarding?
The Scheme has made it clear that students will not be required to use their personal banking details to onboard onto the NSFAS Bank Account.
Once the bursary recipients have been onboarded onto the new system, they will receive a card (virtual or physical) to perform transactions as they would with mainstream bank accounts.
To onboard onto the new NSFAS Bank Account, students have been encouraged to visit the official NSFAS website or follow updates on their social media accounts for updates.
9. Will the NSFAS 'Bank Account' Mastercard continue?
After spending much of 2023 encouraging all NSFAS students to login to their NSFAS accounts and register for the new 'bank account', it transpired that the system might be cancelled.
Instead of selecting an actual bank to help them distribute funds to students, NSFAS decided to appoint 4 'fintech' companies to run their NSFAS 'bank account' scheme. This was not supported by many because it was not in the students' financial best interests. Many banks will give students preferential rates on their bank transaction fees. This won't help them if they have to make transactions from the accounts provided by these fintech providers.
Then in October 2023 the chairperson of NSFAS informed parliament that the financial distribution arrangements would be cancelled. There were no further details on when students should perform a NSFAS login to their accounts to register for the replacement system. Make sure you leave your contact details there so you can be contacted by NSFAS.