How ISFAP Chooses Who Receives Their Bursary


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Bursaries offered by the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme are a great way to start your studies and are available every year. The ISFAP bursary bridges the funding gap which is seen in missing middle students.


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The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) provides a comprehensive bursary to poor and working class students, including the missing middle students. The ISFAP bursary covers more than just tuition fees.

Careers Portal spoke to ISFAP's Regional Programme Manager, Sifanele Biyela, about all things ISFAP and perhaps we answered some questions you had as well. Today, we tackle how ISFAP chooses who to fund.

ISFAP is a non-profit organisation that funds missing middle students so this is the first thing they look at. They look at households that have an income of between R350 000 per annum to R600 000 per annum.

Those are the families that are considered to not be poor enough for NSFAS but in reality, they can't afford tertiary education out of pocket. This is where ISFAP comes in and funds first-time university registrants, the next thing they check.

ISFAP then checks that this is the applicant's first time at a tertiary institution and that they are registered for an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, they don't fund postgraduate courses.

The next thing they look at is what the student is going to study. Whether they fund the student is dependent on whether or not they have applied for a programme that ISFAP currently funds, at an institution that they partner with. 

They then check the applicant's academic achievements. They look at matric results and their average, in terms of information received from the Department. 65% is the minimum for consideration.

They then sort the students in terms of performance and funding is then allocated from highest to lowest.

So what are the ISFAP requirements?

In order to qualify for an ISFAP bursary, you need to:

  • Have a household income which falls between R0 and R600 000
  • Meet academic criteria and registration, which vary per institution but will include:
    • A National Benchmarking Test for some institutions (academic and behavioral strength)
    • Matric results
    • Funder constraints (that meet individual funder objectives) which will be applied to students applying
  • Registered for courses at universities which fall under ISFAP's areas of study that they fund

Here's how to apply for an ISFAP bursary

  1. Go to the ISFAP application website
  2. Complete the online application form
  3. Upload supporting documents 
    • Certified ID Copy of the Applicant
    • Certified Copy of Latest Academic Results (Grade 11 or Matric)
    • Certified Proof of Income
  4. Download and complete the Consent Form (Applicant and Household Contributors) and certify by Commissioner of Oaths 

The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) is an angel in disguise as they provide funding to those who find it difficult to get funding, the missing middle. ISFAP does wonders in bridging the funding gap.

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students who have isfap bursaries

Are you part of the missing middle and you're looking for a bursary? The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme has your back. They provide bursaries that go beyond just your fees.






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