National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Looking for a student financial aid to further your studies?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a public entity reporting to the Department of Higher Education and Training. It was established in the year 1999 to provide financial assistance in the form of a study bursary to qualifying students who wish to study or are already studying at TVET colleges and public universities.

Its mission is to provide bursaries and collects past student loan repayments to replenish the funds available for future generations of students and to supports access to, and success in, higher education and training for students from poor and working-class families who would otherwise not be able to afford to study.

Who qualifies?

Any South African citizen who wants to further their studies does qualify to apply for the bursary. You can apply if you will be starting your first year or when you are already studying at a public university or TVET college. You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • SASSA grant recipients or
  • Your combined household income is not more than R350 000 per year or
  • A person with a disability with a combined household income of not more than R600 000 per year or
  • A student who begun their university studies before 2018 and their household income is not more than R122 000 per year

Who should not apply? 

NSFAS can only fund students for one qualification, meaning that if you have completed a previous qualification that was funded by them then you should not apply again. Only selected postgrad qualifications are approved to be funded by NSFAS so, you can check with your institution if the course you intend to take on is part of the approved courses. Students who have already applied and received funding in previous years are automatically funded for the duration of their studies, provided they pass their modules and meet the academic requirements, so there is no need for them to apply every year during the duration of their studies.

How to apply

You can apply online by visiting using a cellphone, tablet, or computer.

  1. You will then click on the ‘myNSFAS’ tab and create an account using your email address and password.
  2. Once the account has been created, you will click the ‘APPLY’ tab and answer the questions on the screen.
  3. When done, you will upload the required supporting documents and click ‘submit’ when you have double-checked that everything is in order.
  4. After you click on ‘submit’, your application reference number will appear on the screen. The reference number will also be sent to the cellphone number and email address you provided.

You will be able to track the progress of your application by logging into your account. To make things easier for you, NSFAS offers a how to apply digital brochure of which will guide you step by step on what you need to do to apply for the funding.

What is required to process an application?

​NSFAS may require additional information from you to process your application. You will need the following to complete your NSFAS application:

  • Your own cellphone number and email address
  • Certified copy of your ID or birth certificate
  • Certified ID copies of parents, guardian or spouse
  • Your proof of income or 1 year’s IRP5 (if applicable)
  • Your parents, guardian, or spouse’s proof of income
  • If you are a SASSA grant recipient, no proof of income will be required
  • Applicants with a disability must submit a completed and signed Disability Annexure A Form
  • An applicant who is recognised as a Vulnerable Child by the Department of Social Development must provide a completed and signed Vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent Form

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