NSFAS Allowances Increased For 2024 Academic Year



Many students will be relieved to know that they will be receiving more for their NSFAS allowances. This was revealed during a briefing by Minister Nzimande on Tuesday afternoon.



With the 2024 academic year around the corner, the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, took to the podium to update the public on his department's state of readiness for 2024. This included giving details on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Nzimande revealed how much NSFAS allowances will be for 2024, with some being NSFAS allowances being increased. Here's what we know.

2024 NSFAS Allowances

Students either qualify for an accommodation allowance or a travel allowance, not both. This depends on whether the student is studying from home or not and the distance they are from their institution.

University Students

  • Living Allowance
    • R16 500 per year (R3045 personal care allowance + 13 455 meal allowance)
  • Accommodation allowance
    • Institution owned or leased accommodation and private accommodation allowance in metro areas will be capped at R50 000 per annum. Accommodation in other areas will be capped at R41 000 per annum
    • Institution-catered accommodation will have their accommodation allowances capped at R66 500 in metro areas and R57 500 in all other areas per annum.
    • Institutions in non-metro areas can request that NSFAS review these caps in exceptional circumstances.
  • Travel allowance 
    • Students who make their own accommodation arrangements or live with relatives won’t qualify for an accommodation allowance but would then qualify for a NSFAS travel allowance, up to a maximum of R7 875 per annum
  • Learning material allowance
    • All university students qualify for a learning material allowance which is set at a maximum of R5 460. This is a once-off payment at the beginning of the academic year for the purchase of books and devices.

Distance Learning Students

The NSFAS allowances received by distance learning students such as Unisa NSFAS students depends on the number of modules registered for with a maximum of R5 460. 

If students have a full-time course credit load, they then qualify for a personal care allowance at R3 045 per annum. This students need to have 120 course credits in one year.

TVET College Students

  • Accommodation allowance
    • ​​​​​​​Students at own catered residences in metro areas will receive R60 000 per annum
    • Accommodation in other areas is capped at R51 000 per annum
  • Learning material 
    • L​​​​​​​earning material NSFAS allowance is included in the cost of tuition

TVET College students may either qualify for the travel allowance or the accommodation allowance. 

TVET College students who are registered on an occupational qualification may qualify for allowances if they are in simulated training. Students registered on an occupational qualification that have an employment contract and are paid stipend do not qualify for NSFAS allowances. 

Students with disabilities

  • Assistive device allowance
    • Students who are living with disabilities receive an assistive device allowance which is R50 000 once-off with students receiving NSFAS funding for repairs and maintenance to the value of R2 000 per year.

Students with disabilities do not automatically qualify for the allowance for assistive devices, or the repairs and maintenance thereof. The allowances are only granted if the student application for these allowances is approved, and all conditions and criteria are met as set out in this policy standard. 

This was done as part of the continued efforts to bring parity between university and TVET sectors and is a significant achievement in providing transformation in the TVET sector. This shows our continued commitment in supporting and strengthening the TVET sector, including supporting TVET students.

Nzimande revealed that R4.2 billion in upfront payments will be paid to universities and TVET Colleges for the 2024 academic year. R1 billion of this will be paid to TVET Colleges and the remaining R3.2 billion will be paid to universities. This upfront payment will cover registration as well as first payments.

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