No, the bursary will be awarded to you if you are registered at a public higher education institution.
The financial need of the student will be assessed at the point of first application, and students will not need to re-apply annually.
A student can only be funded for one qualification at one institution at any one time.
The threshold of R350 000 family income per annum only applies to those who were first-time entry (FTEN) students in 2018 and will also apply to those who will be FTENs in 2019 and going forward. Students who entered their studies prior to 2018 qualify for a grant according to the previous threshold of R122 000 family income per annum. The grants for these students from 2018 onwards are subject to a funding cap, as in prior years.
Students who have already studied at a university or obtained a prior university qualification do not qualify as FTEN students even if they are entering the first year of a new programme. Students starting a university qualification for the first time, but who have already achieved a TVET qualification may qualify as a university FTEN student.
Approved funded programmes at universities are all undergraduate whole qualifications i.e. degree, diploma or higher certificate programme, offered by a public university. Additional courses that are not core requirements of a whole qualification are not funded. Occasional programmes are not funded.
Students on a full DHET bursary may not receive another full cost of study bursary from another source at the same time. If a student receives a partial bursary from another source, a NSFAS bursary may be awarded, but the allocations must be reduced accordingly, so that the student is supported fully for their studies. NSFAS may not pay for amounts already covered by another funder. Universities are obliged to report this information to NSFAS and to reduce the fee account accordingly.
NSFAS free funding will only apply to students doing their first undergraduate qualifications.
NSFAS has not received any commitment by government at this stage to write of any outstanding student debts. The free education pronouncement was clear that it will be effective starting from the 2018 academic year. As far as we are concerned, previous loans will still need to be paid back by those who benefited.
Universities and colleges will receive their allocations once they have given us lists of their registered students. Each institution’s allocation will be determined by the number of their students and their allowances and tuition costs. Once NSFAS is satisfied with these lists, agreement forms for bursary recipients will be disbursed for signing by the students. Once they are signed, NSFAS will have confirmation that the student has acknowledged the funding, and that the student has verified the information as being correct, and that the student is indeed registered and is attending classes. Then NSFAS will disburse funds to the institution. Funds to universities and colleges are released on a quarterly basis. Student allowances are paid out on monthly basis.
All eligible students who fall within the R350 000 household income bracket, and have been admitted at universities and TVET colleges, will be funded.
NSFAS will only settle student debt from the currently funded year onwards, those who owe universities or colleges and were not funded by NSFAS will settle their debt.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has reached an agreement with universities on fee adjustments for 2018, which will see universities adjusting their fees to a maximum of 8% on the 2017 fees. Students who come from households that earn up to R600 000 per annum, will be supported by government to pay the increase through GAP grant funding. Students who applied for and received GAP grant funding in 2017, will have to apply for the 2018 GAP grant funding through their universities at the time of registrations. This means that university students from families with a household income of up to R600 000 per annum will be paying 2017 prices for their 2018 fees.
NSFAS free funding will only apply to students doing their first undergraduate qualifications.
Universities and colleges will receive their allocations once they have given NSFAS a list of their registered students. Each institution’s allocation will be determined by the number of their students, their allowances and tuition costs. Once NSFAS is satisfied with these lists, agreement forms for bursary recipients will be disbursed for signing by the students. Once they are signed, NSFAS will have confirmation that the student has acknowledged the funding and is indeed registered and attending classes. Funds to universities and colleges are released on a quarterly basis. Student allowances are paid out on monthly basis.
To maintain the NSFAS Funding you must meet the academic requirements set by the institution to continue with the qualification and should pass at least 50% of all your modules for that year or semester.
Students can apply online, or they can go to their local NYDA office or FAO office.
No. All students who are funded by NSFAS in 2018 need not apply again for 2018 as they will be automatically funded by NSFAS for the next academic year/semester, provided they pass their modules and meet the progression requirements of the course and institution.
NSFAS only accepts postgraduate applications for the following postgraduate qualifications:
1. B-Tech Architecture/Architectural Technology
2. B Tech - Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology
3. Postgraduate Certificate in Education
4. Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, and
NSFAS will only provide financial assistance to students who have applied and have been accepted at public universities and TVET colleges. Students who intend to study at private institutions will not be assisted by NSFAS.
Yes. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply for financial assistance. NSFAS provides special disability funding to all approved students with disabilities at any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges.
Yes. Registration costs are usually the first payment towards your tuition costs, and if you have been confirmed for funding by NSFAS, universities and TVET colleges will not expect you to pay the registration fees upfront.
Application results will be communicated to all applicants at a date to be announced in January 2019 via cell phone numbers or email addresses provided by applicants in their application forms. No application results will be released to students until results have been received from the Department of Basic Education, or the universities themselves.
You need to have passed Grade 9 & 10 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET College
This means that the applicant’s application for funding has been approved, however to access this funding they need to apply and get admission at a public university or TVET college
If an applicant is not satisfied with the results of their applications, they can appeal this decision by filling in the appeal form available on the NSFAS website, which will then be reviewed by the appeals committee.
Application results will be communicated to all applicants at a date to be announced in January 2019 via cell phone numbers or email addresses provided by applicants in their application forms
What is of utmost importance is that it is against government policy for institutions to refuse NSFAS approved students’ registration. NSFAS has a long-standing agreement with universities, therefore NSFAS funded students should not be asked or required to pay for registration fee, as this is covered as part of their bursary.
In January of every academic year NSFAS makes upfront payments to universities and colleges which amount to at least 13% of the provisional allocation of the year. This upfront payment covers student registration fees, books and other essential allowances.
All funded students will receive their allowances through their bank accounts, directly from academic institutions (universities and TVET colleges). The scheme urges academic institutions and student organisations to encourage and assist funded students to open bank accounts with accredited financial institutions of their choice.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has completed all assessments of the 2019 applications of first time entering students. Of the 417 000 applications received, more than 300 000 students have been declared approved, pending registration at public institutions for NSFAS funded qualifications.
In December 2018, the NSFAS Administrator, Dr. Randall Carolissen called for review of the 109 000 applications that were initially unsuccessful for the 2019 academic year. Following this process, over 60 000 of these applicants, have subsequently been declared financially eligible. As NSFAS processed applications in the pipeline, the number of unsuccessful applicants escalated to 65 000.
Should a student want to dispute this outcome because of changes to the household income or SASSA status, they may lodge an appeal by providing the necessary documentation to NSFAS. An appeal form can be downloaded from the NSFAS Website and must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the institution. Alternatively, students can submit appeals directly to NSFAS, along with required documentation, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for appeals is 08 March 2019.
Material change in combined household income (proof of loss of income needed with a fully completed NSFAS form for students that were not previously funded)
Dr Carolissen has appointed a strong team to assist him with a turnaround strategy to resolve outstanding disbursements for 2018 resulting in more than R3.6 billion being unlocked and disbursed to students, and a further R10 billion has been unlocked at universities and colleges.
We have been working and planning tirelessly towards completing the 2017/18 backlog, this is work in progress. NSFAS has deployed teams led by senior management to universities and TVET colleges across the country to finalize the closeout of 2017/18 student funding decisions and disbursements.
When a student applies for funding various steps and processes are followed to make final decisions on whether the student qualifies for funding or not. Once this is done and the student qualifies we wait for a registration template that will be submitted to us by the institution that he/she will be studying at. Funding is then finalised, and disbursements are made. Failure for the institution to submit the registration template, results in holding payments for the student. It is important to note that students are not required to submit their registration proof by themselves or email. This process is only done by institutions.
NSFAS has now validated and approved funding an additional 11 613 social grant beneficiaries. These students will become fully funded pending registration at a public university for an approved qualification. For the 2019 academic year this brings the total number of social grants NSFAS approved students to about 60 000, their financial eligibility status is now “confirmed and approved” subject to registration. This completes the processing of the majority of social grants applicants.
All students are urged to check their latest funding status on MyNSFAS. We urge all NSFAS approved students to complete registration for approved qualifications at a public university or TVET college as soon as possible.
All funded student allowances for 2019 will be paid in cash, either directly to the student via NSFAS Wallet or via the institution to the student.
The introduction of the personal allowance came as a result of numerous engagements with various stakeholders and students on how NSFAS could best assist in issues of personal necessities across universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges (TVET). This allowance will cover some of students’ toiletry and sanitary needs to ensure that they don’t miss classes as a result.
All NSFAS funded students living in catered residences in addition to their catered accommodation.
NSFAS has set aside more than R2.2 billion, which will be introduced as new allowance to more than 800 000 students.
This stipend will kick in with other allowances as soon as NSFAS has received registration data from institutions. NSFAS will start paying allowances at the end of January when academic activities resume.
To qualify for the historic debt clearance, you must:
NSFAS uses more than one source to verify family income. There is an integrated process with key credit bureau house that triangulates data across multiple sources to verify earnings.
NSFAS student loans are income-contingent, which means that repayment commences when you start working. NSFAS will send you statements to help you keep track of how much you owe. It is your legal responsibility to keep in touch with NSFAS and to inform us of any change of address and contact details.
Repayments of your student loan are based on the salary that you earn, and start once your salary is R30 000 or more per year. The repayment amount starts at a calculation of 3% of your annual salary, increasing to a maximum of 8% when your salary reaches R59 300 or more per year. For example, you will repay R900 on a salary of R30 000 a year, or R75 per month. Once your annual salary reaches R59 300 your repayment will be R4 744 a year or R395 a month. You can choose to pay more than this, so that you can pay off your loan off faster, and reduce the amount of interest you will be charged on your loan.
Interest is charged at 80% of the repo rate, which is the repurchase rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to commercial banks. NSFAS will continue to charge interest on all outstanding balances, making it imperative that you start repaying your loan as soon as possible. The interest rate is set at the beginning of every financial year (April).
Students sign a legally binding loan agreement contract to repay their loans. NSFAS also works with third party organisations (e.g SARS to track down NSFAS beneficiaries who are employed and earning more than R30 000 per year and make payment arrangements.
The amount owed varies, as some students might be funded for only one year while others may be funded for their whole qualification. Some students owe R10 000, others owe R150 000.
Every cent of a loan repayment goes towards helping other students with funding.
No time limit is given for repayment, since this is determined by the salary of the debtor, and his or her ability to repay. Those who are unemployed are not expected to repay.
Those who are unemployed are not expected to repay, but must inform NSFAS whenever their employment status changes.
Students who drop out are still required to repay their loan when they start earning R30 000 or more a year.
Different loans have different rules about conversion. Up to a maximum of 40% of a general loan is converted into a bursary when a student passes all of the courses they were registered for in that year. Students who apply at their institution's Financial Aid Office to be on the NSFAS Final-Year Programme have their final-year loans converted into a 100% bursary if they pass all of their final-year courses and qualify to graduate. If they do not pass all subjects, the conversion applicable to general loans is applied.
The bursary conversion shows as a rebate on your statement when NSFAS receives your academic results from the university. This takes place at the end of the NSFAS financial year in April.
Your academic results are used to calculate any bursary rebates: for example, 40% of your student loan will be converted into a bursary if you pass all courses; if you pass half of your courses, then 20% of the student loan will be converted into a bursary. If you don't pass any courses, you will not receive any bursary rebate for that academic year and you will have to repay 100% of your student loan.
Students in their final year of study, who qualify to graduate if they pass all their courses, are eligible to be funded through the Final-Year Programme, a fund announced by the President in 2011. You may apply to be part of this programme at your institution's Financial Aid Office. Should a Final-Year Programme student successfully graduate, the loan is converted to a 100% bursary. Students can only benefit from this programme once.