Petition To Re-Open NSFAS Applications

A petition has been started to get NSFAS to re-open the bursary for applications from youth who want to study at universities this year but didn't apply during the application window last year.


There was success for the Fees Must Fall movement when it was announced in 2017 that NSFAS grants would turn into bursaries for students whose families had incomes of less than R250 000 per year.

However to qualify for the bursary the applicants did have to apply for the NSFAS bursary before the closing date. Those wanting to study in 2020 had to apply for the NSFAS funding before the closing date of 30th November 2019.

Now a morement called OpenNSFAS is being organised to pressure the government to reopen the organisation for applications. 

“We have been assisting students in our personal capacity from different institutions with late registrations, with walk-ins and they would now call and say I have been accepted at this institution but I do not have funding. I understand as well that NSFAS was open for a good 3 months but it still excludes a lot of people. And I mean if you are going to allow people to apply in January and February, surely the logic should be that also funding should be made available for those people,” says Phiwaba Madokwe, petition organiser.

The argument made by the campaigners is that young people who now register late at TVET Colleges are able to make new applications to NSFAS - they are handled by the colleges on their behalf. However if people sign up on a late application at university they are not able to start a new application for NSFAS funding.

The spokesperson for NSFAS closed down any possibility of opening a second application window. NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said applications closed on November 30 and that a total of 543 268 first-time applications were received from acros the country. 

If you applied for NSFAS before the closing date you can check your application status online at




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