NSFAS Launches New Ways To Apply For Bursaries

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South Africa's largest bursary scheme has officially opened 2024 applications. The minister believes improvements made by the scheme administering funding will make it easier for students to apply. 

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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande believes the changes made by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will make it easier for students to apply for funding. NSFAS 2024 applications opened this week with thousands of students and prospective students expected to submit applications. 

Nzimande briefed stakeholders on Tuesday, covering various topics, including the opening of NSFAS funding applications for the 2024 academic year and the overall readiness of the scheme to administer bursaries.

NSFAS 2024 applications opened on Tuesday, 21 November 2023 and the minister called on all qualifying students to apply for funding from the scheme. They believe that several improvements made by NSFAS along with the introduction of mobile applications will make the application process easier for students. 

We urge students to apply for NSFAS; that's their future for those who qualify.

Like in previous years, students will be required to submit an NSFAS application on the myNSFAS student portal. The minister revealed that NSFAS has taken steps to improve the application period. 

As part of the NSFAS digital strategy, to date, the scheme has improved its student application portal, following the experiences encountered this year.

Students will also benefit from increased avenues to complete a NSFAS status check. The minister said the WhatsApp and USSD functionality introduced in 2023 will continue to be used with several improvements expected for 2024 NSFAS applications. 

 Additionally, students will have the option to track their 2024 NSFAS application statuses and funding via WhatsApp at 078 519 8006 and USSD at 12067327#. 

The WhatsApp and USSD functionality have already been introduced to assist students with the tracking of applications for 2023 and will now be expanding to include more funding statuses such as confirmation of registration information.

NSFAS Launches Mobile Application

Nzimande commended NSFAS on the launch of a mobile application for 2024 applications. They believe the launch of the mobile application will make it easier for students to apply for funding.

The NSFAS application will be available for iPhone operating systems (iOS), Android, and HUAWEI devices. The NSFAS mobile app will include biometric capabilities to be rolled out later in the year.

I am also pleased to announce that NSFAS has a mobile app that can be downloaded on IOS, Android and Huawei to allow students to apply seamlessly. Congratulations to NSFAS for introducing this modern technology innovation which will make it easy for students to apply for NSFAS funding.

The minister has called on NSFAS to improve the operations of the NSFAS call centre. This is as they continue to receive complaints from students who are struggling to get help. 

The other area that I have directed NSFAS to look at is the improvement of the call- centre. I am expecting these improvements before the beginning of the academic year.

NSFAS Funding

Currently, NSFAS is funding over one million students at public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training  (TVET) Colleges. Students registered in approved courses at public institutions can apply for NSFAS. 

The financial eligibility requirements will remain the same for 2024. This means that applicants may not have a household income exceeding R350,000, while disabled students may not have a household income exceeding R600,000.

If students are approved for NSFAS funding, NSFAS will pay their tuition and registration fees. In addition to this, NSFAS will provide students with several allowances to cover costs associated with studying. 

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NSFAS 2024 applications

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. 

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