If you're planning to apply for financial aid through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), it's important to know how to submit your application. NSFAS is a government loan and bursary fund for students who need financial assistance. The application and registration process usually opens in the later part of the year, with the closing date being in the next calendar year.
Applications for financial aid for the 2024 academic year are now open and will close on the the 31st January 2024. The official NSFAS website is available at www.nsfas.org.za
NSFAS is the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which is a government bursary fund for students through the NSFAS funding for higher education finance. NSFAS application and registration opens in the later part of the year for students with the NSFAS closing date usually being in the next calendar year.
We encourage applicants to apply for the university or TVET college they wish to study at as soon as those applications open. Don't wait for the NSFAS applications for higher education financial support to open. If you university or college applications are submitted successfully it makes it easier when you then apply to NSFAS.
NSFAS provides bursaries and financial assistance to students from poor and working-class backgrounds, covering more than just tuition fees. They also pay for registration, accommodation, transport, and books through various allowances. Funding is available for higher education students at a public university, a university of technology or a TVET college.
To be eligible for the NSFAS funding, your household income should be R350 000 or less per year, and you must be a South African citizen.
To apply for NSFAS, you need to create an account on the myNSFAS student portal and complete the application form, supplying your own cellphone number, ID number, and required documents, such as certified copies of your South African ID or birth certificate, a statement providing proof of your financial eligibility, and your spouse's ID (if applicable).
If you're a student with a disability, the income limit is increased to R600 000. Sassa grant recipients are automatically approved for NSFAS bursary funding, which makes it easier to apply.
You can check your NSFAS application status on the myNSFAS portal or contact NSFAS on their toll-free number (08 000 67327) if you're unable to track your funding progress online.
What is NSFAS?
NSFAS is the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which is a government loan and bursary fund for students who need financial assistance, which is delivered through the NSFAS bursary funding scheme. The NSFAS online application and registration opens in the later part of the year for students with the NSFAS closing date usually being in the next calendar year.
What Colleges and Universities Does NSFAS Pay For?
NSFAS provides full support for qualifying students who are accepted to study at any one of the country's 50 TVET Colleges for most of the courses that these colleges provide. They also support students who are accepted at any one of the country's 23 public universities.
NSFAS does not pay for students who are studying at any of the private educational institutions in South Africa. There are many private colleges and higher educational institutions that operate legally in the country and offer certificates, diplomas and degrees that are just as legitimate as those offered by the public institutions. However it is a national politicial decision that has been taken that the government bursary scheme will not support students at these private institutions.
What Funding NSFAS Provides
NSFAS provides bursaries and financial assistance to students from poor and working-class backgrounds, which goes beyond just paying for your fees. They’ll also pay for your registration, accommodation, transport, books through NSFAS's various allowances which are detailed on the NSFAS website.
Funding is available for higher education students at public universities, universities of technology or TVET colleges.
So what are the requirements for a NSFAS application?
The most important requirement for your NSFAS application form is that your household income should come to R350 000 or less per year. This means that if you add up everyone’s salaries in your house for the year and it comes to over R350 000, you won’t qualify. You have to be a South African citizen to qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme NSFAS funding.
Usually, students and future students start the application process by submitting their NSFAS online application for NSFAS bursaries using the myNSFAS student portal. This is also where you check your NSFAS status.
You can also read Careers Portal which has everything you need to know about NSFAS, NSFAS applications and NSFAS allowances.
What Supporting Documents Are Needed For NSFAS Applications?
Supporting documents and information for your NSFAS online application include:
- Certified copies of your South African ID or birth certificate
- a working cellphone number/contact details
- a statement providing proof of your financial eligibility (proof of income)
- your current email address
- your spouse's ID (if applicable)
- your consent form is sometimes needed
Once you completed all these steps, your application will be officially submitted. You must of course make sure you submit your application and supporting documents before the closing of applications date.
How To Make Your NSFAS Application
When you decide you want to make a NSFAS application, you must have internet access to apply online. Before you apply online at NSFAS, you will need to first create a myNSFAS account, which you can do by clicking here. Once your account is up and running, you will follow the following steps.
- Click on the 'APPLY' tab and complete all the sections provided.
- You need to supply your own cellphone number and ID number
- Upload required documents where applicable - this will usually be your ID number and document - it may be your birth certificate in some circumstances.
- And then you click submit
NSFAS Funding Requirements
So, what are the requirements for NSFAS financial aid? Nsfas identifies eligible students based on the information you provide about you Matric results and your family's income for the year.
The most important requirement for NSFAS funding is that your combined household income should come to R350 000 or less per year. This means that if you add up everyone’s salaries in your house for the year and it comes to over R350 000, you won’t qualify.
If you are a student with a disability, then this amount increases to R600 000 because NSFAS supports access to higher education for students with disabilities.
Sassa grant recipients are automatically approved for NSFAS funding, so it's easier when you make a NSFAS application.
How To Submit A Request For Financial Aid To NSFAS
Usually, students and future students will submit their NSFAS online application for NSFAS financial aid using myNSFAS, which is the NSFAS website and student portal. You will also check your NSFAS application status on the MyNsfas online application portal.
What Are The Nsfas Contact Details?
If you can't track the funding progress of your application online, you can also contact NSFAS on their toll-free number (08 000 67327), and they will be able to give you your NSFAS application status.
When Should You Apply For NSFAS Funding?
You should complete the NSFAS online application form on the NSFAS portal and submit your supporting documents as soon as you decide that you want to study at a public university or TVET college.
Don't wait until you have been accepted into university or college, as that will be too late to go through the NSFAS student bursary funding process. NSFAS will cover registration and tuition fees - as well as an allowance.
Is NSFAS A Loan Or A Bursary?
Although you might have heard from other people that they have student loan repayments to NSFAS, things have changed. In previous years, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme provided student loans that usually had to be paid back when the student graduated and started earning.
All payments and financial aid these days to NSFAS beneficiaries are bursaries and don't have to be paid back.
How Much Has NSFAS Paid Out In Financial Aid?
In August 2023, NSFAS management announced that a total of over R608 000 000 has now been made in NSFAS funding allowances to a total of almost 358 000 students at universities in South Africa using the new NSFAS direct payment system.
More than R600 000 000 was paid out to nearly 360 000 university students on 31 July 2023, while over 98 000 TVET College students received over R380 000 000 in student allowances on 25 July 2023.