Did you just finish high school and are trying to get admission to an undergraduate program with the help of NSFAS? This guide can help you in various because it contains all details of the NSFAS program, its eligibility criteria, rules and regulations, the application process, and much more. Let us dig into the guide and explore this program and its benefits.
As you know, NSFAS stands for National Student Financial Aid Scheme. This program is a South African government student financial aid scheme and provides financial aid to undergraduate students who finished high school. NSFAS was established in 1996 and receives funds from the Department of Higher Education and Training. The following are details about its application process and eligibility criteria.
As I stated above, this program gets funds from the Department of Higher education and Training and local and international donations. This program is similar to the scholarships offered to students in different countries. These scholarships are called bursaries in South Africa. A bursary is a financial aid for students who can’t afford higher education and help them study in a school, college, or university. NSFAS offers various bursaries, including Funza Lushaka Teacher Bursary, DHET DIsability Bursary, and from the Sector Education And Training Authorities.
About NSFAS Program
The NSFAS opened its portal for session 2023 on 28th September 2022. Registrations for online applications are open till 31st January 2023. Students can’t apply for this program after 31st January 2023. If you are considering applying for this program, you should immediately proceed to start the application process.
During the application process, the applying candidates are divided into five groups. The first group is called Cohort 1 and contains the list of students who belong to the SASSA beneficiary and are applying for the first time. Moreover, the second group, Cohort 2, has returning students from the SASSA beneficiary. Cohort 3 contains the list of students who don’t belong to the SASSA beneficiary and are applying for the first time. While Cohort 4 has the list of returning students who don’t belong to the SASSA beneficiary. Lastly, Cohort 5 has a list of students with disabilities.
How to Apply For NSFAS Application?
Eligibility Criteria For NSFAS
Although the application process for NSFAS is easy, it has eligibility criteria that a student must fulfill to apply, or he will not be eligible for this financial aid program. The following are the details about the eligibility requirements that you must satisfy before applying for this scheme.
- A student must be a citizen of South Africa.
- He must be studying or considering studying in an undergraduate program in the year 2023.
- You must be studying or seeking to learn in a public university or a TVET institute.
- You must not be a qualified student from an undergraduate program.
You should have at least these features to apply for NSFAS.
- You are a South African Social Security Agency grant recipient.
- Your total annual household income is R350,000 and not more than it.
- You are disabled, and your annual household income is 600,000 and not more.
- You started your studies in 2018, and your annual household income is 122,000 and not more.
If you fall into any of these categories, you can apply for financial aid for your studies in South Africa.
Required Documents For NSFAS Applications Process
The following documents are the most essential to apply for NSFAS. You must have all these documents before proceeding to the application process because you can’t submit your application until you have all the required documents. Therefore, keep all your records with you when applying for this financial aid program.
- A student must have a South African ID card. You can also use a copy of your green card, a temporary ID from DHA, a copy of both sides of your Smart ID card, or your birth certificate.
- A student who is not a SASSA grant recipient should have a copy of his father or guardian’s ID card. You can also use your spouse’s ID card if you are a married female candidate.
- If you are not a SASSA grant recipient, you must have proof of your entire household income. It can be the latest payslips, a UIF letter, an employment letter, or a retrenchment letter.
- Disabled students should submit proof of their disability. Furthermore, they must fill out and sign the Disability Annexure A Form.
- A vulnerable student recognized by the Department Of Social Development should fill out and sign the Vulnerable Child Declaration Form.
Note: Affidavits will not be considered valid proof for any funding requirement.
Online NSFAS Application Process
You can apply for NSFAS on your laptop or mobile phone easily. To apply online, you must visit the online site of NSFAS. You must follow the following steps to apply for NSFAS for a public or a TVET institute in South Africa.
- Visit the online site of NSFAS https://www.nsfas.org.za/content/.
- After opening the site, click on My NSFAS portal.
- Click on “create a new account” and fill in the required fields, including first and last name, ID number, contact information, email address, etc.
- Double-check the information you added in the required fields.
- After the completion of this process, the site will verify your account.
- Now, go to the NSFAS Login portal and log in to your newly created account.
- A new portal will open on the screen that requires all essential details about yourself and your education.
- You must fill in all the fields correctly to avoid any inconvenience.
- After filling in the details about your documents, you should click the “submit” button to submit your application.
- You can also recover your password if you forget it. Just click on ” Forgot password”. Fill in the required field accordingly.
How to Apply Nsfas Manually?
- Visit the nearest application center to obtain a hard copy of the NSFAS application form from their representatives.
- Fill out the application form using a black ink pen, making sure to w
- rite within the specified blocks.
- Obtain a signature from your parents on the form.
- Attach copies of the required documents to the form using staples.
- Sign the application form.
- Finally, submit the completed application form to the NSFAS representative at the application centre. The application centre information is available at this link https://www.nsfas.org.za/content/application-centres.html.
If you prefer a manual application, you can access the NSFAS PDF form here.
Expenses Covered By NSFAS
The expenses covered by NSFAS vary according to the institution and program a student has chosen. NSFAS mainly covers accommodation, tuition, transport, and personal care expenses. The following is a list of expenses covered by NSFAS according to the program and institute.
For University Students
The following is the list of funds that the university students will receive in a bursary from NSFAS.
- NSFAS covers the accommodation costs set by the university.
- It covers the annual transport fees of up to R7500, which means students who live within the 40kms of the institute can have free transport. If this amount increases, you have to pay it yourself.
- It covers your annual living allowance expenses up to R15000 and not more than that. If this price increases, a student has to pay it himself.
- NSFAS covers the annual book allowance of around R5200 and not more.
- It covers the annual personal care allowance of up to around R2900. A student will pay the personal care allowance himself if this price increases.
For TVET Students
- NSFAS covers annual accommodation expenses of up to R24,000 for urban areas.
- The annual accommodation expenses per urban area are R18900 and R15750 for rural areas. If the accommodation expenses increase, a student has to pay it himself.
- It covers the annual transport fees of up to R73500 and not more.
- NSFAS covers an annual personal care allowance of up to R2900.
- For The University Of South Africa.
- Students seeking to study at the University of South Africa receive tuition funding from NSFAS.
- The expenses for the book allowance depend on the registered modules.
- NSFAS covers the personal care allowance of the student studying in UNISA.
For Disabled Students
- NSFAS covers tuition fees for students with disabilities
- It covers the accommodation expenses of the students.
- It covers the meals and transport expenses of disabled students.
- NSFAS also provides funding for assistive devices, including wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops, and more devices.
- It offers human support to disabled students, such as tutors, sign language interpreters, and more.
Fields of Study
The following is the list of a few prominent fields of study offered by NSFAS bursaries. You can choose the most suitable field of study according to your qualification and requirements.
- Adult Learning
- Building Construction
- Civil Engineering Construction
- Communication Studies
- Consumer Services
- Cultural Studies
- Curative Health
- Design Studies
- Drawing Office Practice
- Early Childhood Development
- Earth And Space Sciences
- Environmental Sciences
- Fabrication And Extraction
- Film, Television, And Video
- Finance Economics And Accounting
- Higher Education And Training
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Media Sciences
- Nature Conservation
- Performing Arts
- Physical Sciences
- Primary Agriculture
- Rehabilitative Health Services
- Visual Arts
- Wholesale And Retail
Institutes Accepted By NSFAS
- The Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- The Central University of Technology
- The Durban University of Technology
- Monash University
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- NorthWest University.
- Rhodes University
- Stellenbosch University
- The Tshwane University of Technology and more
- Boland College
- Buffalo City College
- Capricorn College
- Central Johannesburg College
- Coastal CZN College
- College of Cape Town
- Eastcape Midlands College
- Ehlanzeni College
- Ekurhuleni East College
- Elangemi College
- Ethekwini College
- Esayidi College
- False bay College
- Ikhala College and many more
Benefits of NSFAS
As I stated earlier, NSFAS provides financial aid to the students of South Africa. It has many benefits because it helps students of a poor background who can’t afford to study in a good institute. If you belong to a disadvantaged background and are a citizen of South Africa, you can continue your studies at your dream institute. Although this program manages bursaries similar to the scholarships offered to students in various countries, you must have a satisfactory academic background in your previous classes and should be eligible for this program.
Most public universities and TVET colleges accept the NSFAS program because it is under the Government of South Africa. You can get admission to your dream institute from these bursaries, but you must follow the rules for this scheme. Furthermore, NSFAS covers most of your tuition fees and various allowances annually. If your expenses exceed the limit, you must pay the additional payments on your own. Read also about the NSFAS opening date
Attention: “Protect Yourself Against Fraud” is a concise warning urging you to take personal precautions and be vigilant to prevent your unique ID, password, and login details.
If you want to know more about the bursary programs offered by NSFAS, you can contact NSFAS via various platforms. The following are the contact details of NSFAS to help you contact them for further queries.
Tel: 0860 067 327
Facebook: National Student Financial Aid Scheme
The above guide has all details regarding the application process for NSFAS. NSFAS stands for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and offers bursaries to South African students to help them study at their dream institute. It receives funds from the Department of Higher education And Training and national and international donations. If you want to apply for this program, you can visit its official site, create your account, log in, fill in all required fields, and submit your NSFAS application. You must be a citizen of South Africa to apply for this financial aid scheme.