How will I know whether my application has been successful?
NSFAS will communicate application results to applicants once it has received confirmation of an academic offer from the educational Institution.
Notifications will be sent to applicants before the start of the academic year via SMS, email, and myNSFAS accounts.
Students can track the progress of their application through their myNSFAS accounts.
Do I have to pay for registration if my NSFAS funds were approved?
No. Registration fees will be included in the first payments made by NSFAS to educational institutions, and NSFAS students will not be blocked from registering at the institution.
Does NSFAS have an age limit?
The DHET bursary administered by NSFAS does not have an age limit.
Some of the other bursaries administered by NSFAS (eg Funza Lushaka teaching bursary, Social Work Scholarship, etc) do have age limits. See details on the website at https://www.nsfas.org.za/content/funders.html
Does NSFAS give you a laptop?
Students can use their book allowance to purchase laptops or tablets.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, it was decided that both University and TVET students who didn’t already have laptops would be provided with free laptops to facilitate online learning.
There has been a delay in procuring these laptops, with tender notices going out only in September 2020.
Will NSFAS fund me if I fail a module?
According to the NSFAS policy agreement, students must pass at least 50% of their modules and meet the academic requirements of their institution to continue receiving financial aid during their study period.
There is a limit of time on funding. The n+1 formula prescribes that NSFAS will pay for only the standard length of time required for a course plus one additional year.
NSFAS will not pay for repeated modules for higher certificates.
Does NSFAS fund Postgraduate students?
Mostly no. The exceptions are for courses that are a professional requirement for employment. Examples include:
- PGCE – Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- PGDA – Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting
- Various B Tech courses
Does NSFAS fund studies at private colleges and universities?
No. NSFAS funds only approved courses at 26 public universities and 50 TVET colleges in South Africa. They do not fund private institutions such as Damelin or Varsity.
Does NSFAS fund short courses at universities?
No. NSFAS funds only full undergraduate degree or diploma courses.
Can I be funded for both TVET and University studies?
A student can only be funded for one qualification at one institution at any one time. If the student completed an N6 qualification at a TVET college, he/she may be funded at a university. Once the N6 is complete, the student will need to apply for funding for the university.
Can I be funded for a second qualification?
Students who have already obtained a prior university qualification do not qualify and should not apply for funding. Students who have completed TVET N6 qualifications cannot be funded at a TVET college again but can be funded at university.
How does NSFAS work if I take a gap year?
Funding continues automatically from year to year, provided the student meets progression requirements. If funding is not utilised for a year, the bursary will be cancelled, and the student will have to reapply.
Which disabilities are covered?
A disability is defined as a long-term impairment that has lasted or is likely to persist for at least 12 months, which is recurring and substantially limiting. NSFAS includes chronic diseases as disabilities; these include HIV/AIDS, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and tuberculosis (TB).
My parent/guardian is unemployed or is employed in the informal sector. What proof must I submit?
An affidavit will be accepted; however, NSFAS will verify the employment status through government entities and 3rd party agencies.
Do I need to apply for 2021 funding or each semester if I am currently approved?
No, students currently funded by NSFAS are not required to reapply. NSFAS will automatically renew their bursaries once it receives confirmation of successful academic results from the educational institutions.
Does NSFAS affect my credit score?
NSFAS reserves the right to report students who do not fulfil their debt obligations to credit bureaus. In recent years, NSFAS has used debt collectors’ services to follow up on outstanding loans for studies undertaken up to and including 2017.
When are the opening and closing dates for applications for 2021?
Opening date: 3 August 2020
Closing date: 30 November 2020
NSFAS contact details
Below are the NSFAS contact details:
NSFAS Connect: www.nsfas.org.za and login to the myNSFAS platform.
- This is an interactive platform to replace the contact centre. Students can use it for queries via social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and NSFAS Chat.