What Are The Requirements To Stay Funded By NSFAS?

Once you've been approved to have your studies funded by NSFAS, there are requirements you'll need to keep up during your studies to ensure that you stay funded by NSFAS. Keep reading to learn more.


Being funded by NSFAS requires you to do a few things so that you can stay funded until you finish your qualification.

After you've been approved by NSFAS, you will then be expected to:

  • Comply with all academic requirements as set by institutions
  • Attend and participate in lectures, tutorials and academic support programmes as required by the institution
  • Complete all set assignments and/or tasks as required in terms of the due performance requirements of the Institution
  • Undergo all tests and examinations (written and oral) as required in terms of the due performance requirements of the institution
  • A continuing student that is defined as an N+2 student in the Higher Education Institution N+ rule must meet the 50% pass criteria in order to study at a University.

NSFAS has explained that, "Institutions will confirm with NSFAS at the start of the academic year that students have qualified for progression according to standard institutional policy and approved rules of progression for the specific programme they are studying."

N+ Rule

The N+ rule dictates how many years you are allowed to be funded through NSFAS. N refers to the duration the course is and the + refers to the number of extra years NSFAS will fund you should you need to repeat the year.

Before NSFAS was changed to a bursary scheme in 2018, it was a loan scheme which required students to pay back the funds they were covered for. For these students, the N+2 rule applies. This means that should you be doing a 3 year course, you're then given 5 years to complete it while being funded by NSFAS. Should you go over the 5 years, you will then need to find another way to pay for your studies.

Now that it's a bursary scheme, the N+1 rule applies. This would then mean basically the same thing as above. If your qualification is supposed to run for 4 years, you're then given 5 years to complete it while being funded by NSFAS and any more years, you will need to find your own funding.

It's important to remember that the N refers to the years that you're registered for the course. Should you take a gap year, you won't count that year.

NSFAS provides bursaries to students who come from poor and working class backgrounds who are registered or plan to study at Public Universities and TVET Colleges.

Visit the NSFAS website here for more information on the NSFAS bursary.

To view the DHET Guidelines for the NSFAS bursary, click here.

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