This Is What Your NSFAS Application Status Means

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Are you not sure what your NSFAS application status means and need more information? Here are some common terms you may come across when checking your NSFAS application status and what they mean.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government funded bursary scheme that provides financial assistance to disadvantaged South African students who meet the necessary academic criteria and funding requirements.

NSFAS provides bursaries to students completing their higher education at South African public universities and TVET colleges. They offer bursaries for undergraduate programmes, higher certificates and diplomas.

NSFAS Stages Explained

Checking the status of your NSFAS application online may be a little confusing, but it is important to understand what your application status means. Here are some terms you may see when tracking your application on the NSFAS portal.

The Meaning Of Your NSFAS Application Status

To help you here are the NSFAS status meaning codes for your explanation. 

NSFAS Stages - Stages of NSFAS Status

Application Submitted

You have completed your application, submitted it and it has been loaded onto the NSFAS system successfully.


The system is checking if you are a returning student and whether you have any previous qualifications.


NSFAS is conducting third party checks with SASSA and the Department of Home Affairs to verify any information you have provided.


NSFAS is verifying all the documents you have submitted during your application. If you have any missing documents, you will need to upload them.

Funding Eligibility

NSFAS is verifying your household financial status that was declared in your application. They are completing a check to confirm that you reach the financial eligibility criteria. If you earn above the combined household income threshold your application will be rejected.

NSFAS Application in progress meaning NSFAS

If your application status is 'In progress' it is being reviewed by the NSFAS staff. 

Awaiting Academic Results/Admission

NSFAS is checking your academic results and your institution admission status to ensure that you meet the requirements to be funded by NSFAS. If you meet the necessary academic requirements, your application will be approved.

You may find yourself staying on this step for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution, before they can make a decision.

Application Approved

Your NSFAS application has been processed and when checking, NSFAS found that you are provisionally approved for funding according to the NSFAS funding criteria. Once your institution you are registered at submits your registration data to NSFAS, payment will then be processed to cover you and your studies. 

Application Unsuccessful

This means that according to the funding criteria, you do not meet one or more of the NSFAS requirements. You should then submit an appeal if you think that this is unfair or incorrect. You may have been rejected because you earned above the household income threshold, you did not meet the academic requirements, you did not provide the necessary supporting documentation, you are funded by another bursary, or another reason. 

Awaiting Registration

NSFAS is receiving data from your institution to enable them to create a bursary agreement.

This is another step students find themselves stuck on for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution before proceeding.

Signing of Agreement

At this stage, you need to sign your bursary agreement so that NSFAS can disburse your allowances.


Your allowances are now being paid either through NSFAS mobile wallet system or through your institution.

Students are advised to continue to monitor the myNSFAS portal for regular updates.

Rejected applicants are urged to begin the appeal process if they believe that they have been unfairly or incorrectly rejected.

NSFAS Status Stages

The NSFAS status stages will remain while they are being reviewed and they will change and be updated once the applications are reviewed and NSFAS status stages will be updated. 

What Does Application in Progress Mean NSFAS?

How To Submit A NSFAS Appeal

  1. Log into your “MyNSFAS" account on the NSFAS website
  2. Click the 'Track Funding Progress' option
  3. Check the application progress tabs
  4. If your application status reflects an unsuccessful message, you may submit an appeal by clicking on the 'Submit Appeal Tab'
  5. Once you are on the 'Application Appeal' page, you can see the reason for your unsuccessful application status
  6. You are then able to choose the appeal reason
  7. Then upload certified required documents to support your reason
  8. Then click 'Submit Appeal'
  9. You may now track the progress of the appeal on your myNSFAS account. 

Make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria and that you have uploaded all the supporting documents before applying or submitting your appeal.

Eligibility Criteria For NSFAS Funding

  • A combined household income of less than R350,000 per annum
  • Have met the admission criteria for the institution you have applied at
  • Acceptance to study at a registered South African university, public college or TVET college
  • Be a South African citizen
  • Sassa grant recipients immediately qualify for NSFAS funding
  • If you are a student with a disability, your household income may not exceed R600,000 per annum
  • If you are a continuing student then you will need to meet the necessary academic requirements for continued funding

NSFAS identifies eligible students through the means test.

What Do NSFAS Bursaries Cover?

NSFAS bursaries cover the majority of the costs that come with pursuing a tertiary education.  Firstly, the bursary typically covers tuition fees and registration fees. Accommodation costs are also usually included, either by covering the full or partial cost or by providing a stipend for housing expenses.

Furthermore, this bursary often includes funds for study materials such as textbooks, stationery and other essential resources necessary for academic success. A meal allowance, transport allowance and personal care allowance are also included. Some of these allowance amounts may differ depending on if a student is residing in an on-campus residence or if they are living at a distance from campus.

The Impact Of NSFAS

NSFAS has made a significant impact on students in South Africa by providing much-needed financial assistance for higher education. The bursary scheme has helped thousands of students pursue their academic dreams, irrespective of their financial background. 

By offering bursaries, NSFAS has alleviated the financial burden on students and their families, enabling them to focus on their studies without the constant worry of tuition fees, accommodation and textbooks. 

Overall, NSFAS has played a vital role in making education accessible and empowering countless individuals to break the cycle of poverty, contributing to the socio-economic development of South Africa

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