NSFAS currently funds more than one million students in tertiary education in South Africa. This number is set to grow as the financial aid scheme has officially opened 2024 NSFAS applications.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has officially announced the opening date for the 2024 application period. Prospective students can begin submitting their NSFAS bursary applications on the official NSFAS website.
Students will have just over two months to submit their NSFAS funding applications. This is because the application window will remain open until 31 January 2024.
NSFAS provides comprehensive funding to more than one million students enrolled in approved programmes at public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
The bursaries offered by NSFAS are designed to cover all costs associated with tertiary education. This includes funding for tuition and registration fees, along with various allowances.
Students receive accommodation allowances, meal allowances, and stationery allowances from NSFAS. Adjustments are made to the allowances for students living at home or in catered accommodation.
NSFAS encourages all eligible students to submit their applications during the designated application period. They also reminded grade 12 learners that matric results are not a prerequisite for submitting a NSFAS application.
NSFAS revealed that they are in discussions with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), to enhance the application validation process, particularly concerning parental relationships. These adjustments aim to improve verification procedures and ensure timely confirmation of funding decisions.
Applicants are urged to provide accurate information, as mistakes may lead to the rejection of their NSFAS 2024 applications.
As was the case with the last few years, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant beneficiaries will receive immediate funding decisions without the need for additional supporting documents, except for learners with disabilities.
How To Submit A 2024 NSFAS Application
Step 1: Create a myNSFAS account
Step 2: Click on the ‘Apply’ tab to update your personal information
Step 3: Upload your application supporting documents
Step 4: Submit your application
To enhance accessibility, NSFAS will introduce a mobile application for 2024 applications. The application will only initially be compatible with iPhone operating systems (iOS) and Android, later extending to HUAWEI devices.
The mobile app, set to include biometric capabilities later in the year, allows students to track their application statuses and funding through WhatsApp at 078 519 8006 and USSD at 12067327#.
Who Qualifies For NSFAS
To qualify for NSFAS, applicants must be South African, enrolled in an approved course at a public university or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college and not exceed the household income threshold.
Applicants may not have a household income exceeding R350,000 while disabled students may not have a household income that exceeds R600,000. The latest data from SARS will help NSFAS verify if applicants meet the household income threshold.
How To Check Your NSFAS Status
Step 1: Visit the myNSFAS student portal.
Step 2: Enter your username and password on the NSFAS website and then click SIGN IN
Step 3: Click on Track Funding Progress to check your NSFAS application status.
If your application for NSFAS is rejected, you have the right to submit a NSFAS appeal application. You will be provided with the reason your funding application was rejected.
How To Submit A NSFAS Appeal
Step 1: Visit myNSFAS website.
Step 2: Log into your myNSFAS account.
Step 3: Click the ‘Track Funding Progress’ option.
Step 4: Check the application progress tabs.
If your application status reflects an unsuccessful message, you may submit an appeal by clicking on the ‘Submit Appeal Tab’.
Once you are on the ‘Application Appeal’ page, you can see the reason for your unsuccessful application status.
Step 5: Choose the appeal reason.
Step 6: Upload certified supporting documents to support your reason.
Step 7: Click ‘Submit Appeal’.
Who Can Submit A NSFAS Appeal
A student whose application for financial aid is rejected, or the financial aid for a continuing student is withdrawn can submit a NSFAS appeal. NSFAS warned that appeals will only be considered for students who have applied for NSFAS funding.
The appeal decisions are subject to budget availability.
Who Cannot Submit A NSFAS Appeal?
Students can not submit a NSFAS appeal application if they are registered for a qualification that NSFAS does not fund or if they have reached N+2 (or N+3 in the case of students with disabilities).
They will also not consider appeal applications where the student is a gap year student to whom NSFAS previously denied financial aid because they did not meet the academic eligibility criteria.
The appeal will also not be considered if the institution has not submitted its registration record to NSFAS or has submitted an incorrect registration record such enquiries should be directed to the institution.
Why NSFAS Applications Are Opening So Late
NSFAS says the decision to open the application process in November aims to expedite decision-making processes by allowing for shorter turnaround times. Opening applications in November also aligns with the financial eligibility assessment, which requires updated information from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).