Apply now for an ISFAP bursary!



Do you need funding to study? Don't qualify for NSFAS? You should definitely check out the bursary offered by the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP).

Applications are now open for 2025 ISFAP bursaries! 

Funding package includes tuition, accommodation and monthly allowances as well as student support.



ISFAP refers to the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme which provides bursaries to students who meet the requirements. ISFAP was established as a funding model to sustainably cater for the higher education needs and costs of South Africa’s poor and middle-class students

The ISFAP bursary requirements include being a South African citizen, coming from households with an annual income falling between R0 and R600 000 and are registered within the universities and courses that ISFAP partners with.

ISFAP focuses on providing funding for lower-income and missing middle students who have completed matric so that they can receive a tertiary education. Students are funded based on financial need and academic achievement.

In addition, the programme also aims to fast track South Africa’s skills production for the 21st century by funding the higher education costs of mainly students studying towards a career in Occupations of High Demand (OHDs), which have been identified as critical to South Africa’s economic development by the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC). These include Actuaries, Accountants, Engineers, Medical Doctors, Pharmacists and Prosthetists. 

What is the "Missing middle"?

“Poor” and “Missing Middle” students are defined based on the household income of the applying student. The household income bands that qualify under “Poor” and “Missing Middle” are:
Poor: R0- R350000
Missing Middle: R350000 - R600000

ISFAP plays a huge role in solving the funding challenges faced by “poor” and “missing middle” students, as well as in addressing other challenges which South Africa faces, such as graduate employability.
 Through the proposed public-private partnership; ISFAP is an indication of the positive work that can be done when government and the private sector come together. The proposed PPP will see government be able to work to solve an issue of national importance (fees for poor and middle students) while giving business a sound initiative into which to invest funds that contribute to the future of their workforce.

Some of the challenges they want to address include:

  • Reducing the high dropout rate of poor and working class students in the higher education and training sector 
  • Improving the employability of funded graduates 
  • Improving the country’s skills profile, especially in occupations of high demand 
  • Improving the partnership between government, the private sector/business and higher education institutions in supporting poor and “missing middle” students.

ISFAP Qualifying Criteria

  • A household means test is done for all applying students
  • Academic criteria and registration, which vary per institution but will include:
  • A National Benchmarking Test for some institutions (academic and behavioral strength)
  • Matric results
  • Funder constraints (that meet individual funder objectives) which will be applied to students applying

It is important to note that applying for an ISFAP bursary does not in any way guarantee that you will be selected for funding. There is a strict selection process based on merit and funding is limited.





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