What is the difference between ISFAP and NSFAS?

South Africa seems short when it comes to missing middle funding. This is where ISFAP comes in. Sifanele Biyela, Regional Project Manager at Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme, explains the difference between ISFAP and NSFAS. 

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The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme aims to bridge the gaps that exist in student funding in South Africa. 

Sifanele Biyela, Regional Project Manager at Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme, explained the difference between ISFAP and NSFAS. 

NSFAS is a government financial aid scheme and that's where the big difference lies. ISFAP is a foundation that's donor-funded and is not under government.

The funding criteria, or as Biyela calls it the 'target market', is also where they differ. NSFAS looks at students classified as poor who have household incomes between R0 and R350 000 per year while ISFAP includes middle class students in their criteria looking at students who have household incomes between R0 and R600 000.

The students ISFAP looks at falls under both poor students as well as missing middle students. 

It's important to remember that you can't be funded by both ISFAP and NSFAS at the same time.

With NSFAS and ISFAP, the aim is to try and reach as many students as possible and afford the opportunity to as many students as possible.

Should students have more than one funder, it then narrows the reach of the different programmes to students who might find it useful, explains Biyela.

ISFAP therefore does not fund students who already have funding and your offer will be withdrawn if they find that you do.

 

Where to find ISFAP

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