2021 NSFAS applications now open




Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande has opened the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) 2021 application cycle on Monday.

This year's NSFAS application cycle will run for 4 months, from the 3rd of August to the 30th November 2020.

Students from poor and working-class backgrounds who want to further their studies at any public Technical and Vocational Education and Training college (TVET) or university are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • be a South African citizen,
  • come from a family with a combined annual household income of not more than R350 000 per year 

For disabled students, their combined annual household income must not be more than R600 000 per year.

“In the current academic year, NSFAS has funded over 700 000 students, 248 242 at TVET colleges and 481 339 at universities (students with registrations data), this is a 20% increase from the previous year when comparing registration data received in the same period 2019 versus 2020,” said Nzimande.

Did you know? NSFAS accounts for 40% of the undergraduate population at universities and 70% at TVET colleges.

Just like before, applications for 2021 funding will be done online via the myNSFAS portal.

The portal has undergone some minor enhancements and changes – all of which take into account the lessons learned in the previous applications cycles.

While some of these improvements intend to improve user experience, others will improve security.

All new applicants will need to present a copy of their ID or birth certificate to register and create a profile on the myNSFAS portal.

Those with an existing account must log in to their account; they are only allowed to create one profile.

Applicants will need to give their consent for personal information verification with NSFAS third parties.

This security feature allows NSFAS to conduct a three-step verification process with Home Affairs where an ID number will be linked to the name and surname of the applicant and parent details.

NSFAS has strengthened its partnership with the Department of Basic Education to increase its reachability, specifically for learners in Grade 10 to 12.

There’s no need for applicants to submit or upload the consent form, instead, they will need to accept the electronic consent form that will be sent to them, along with the terms and conditions for funding.

The application system will still require a student to submit their supporting documents, which comprise of an ID copy, parent/guardian proof of income, parent/guardian ID copies and/or Annexure A for applicants with a disability.

“While great work for 2021 application cycle is underway, I want to reassure our current beneficiaries that the department, along with NSFAS, is working tirelessly ensuring that the 2020 academic year is saved and concluded to usher in the new academic year,” the Minister said before advising qualifying students to take the opportunity to apply for funding on time.

Do you qualify? Create your myNSFAS account to apply today! 


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