ISFAP Bursary Applications For 2025 Now Open

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The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme, which we also know as ISFAP, has now opened bursary applications for the 2025 academic year. ISFAP provides bursaries to missing middle students who want to study towards an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification.

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The Missing Middle crisis is a serious issue within the Higher Education sector. Organisations such as the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) recognises this by providing funding to students wanting to attend a university in South Africa.

'Missing middle' refers to those individuals who are considered too rich to qualify for NSFAS but are unable to afford to pay for their own university fees. Household incomes for these individuals usually range between R350 000 and R600 000 per annum.

ISFAP provides financial aid to missing middle students and has now opened applications for funding for the 2025 academic year. They provide bursaries for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

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

How To Apply

  1. Go to the ISFAP application website
    • There will be two different 'Apply Online' websites for undergraduate applications and postgraduate applications
  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 

What ISFAP Will Cover

Successful applicants will receive a funding package that includes tuition, accommodation and monthly allowances as well as wraparound support. Wraparound support includes things like mentorship, coaching, extra tutorials, academic support, financial support, accommodation support and even peer-to-peer learning.

Some examples of courses that ISFAP funds include; Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Chemical Engineering bachelor degree, Electrical Engineering bachelor degree, Actuarial Science bachelor degrees, and many more.

Applications will close at the end of October.

ISFAP Postgrad Bursaries

This year saw ISFAP kick off their Postgraduate funding project with the pilot being completed in 2023. Applications for 2024 ISFAP postgrad bursaries closed on 7 January 2024.

ISFAP provides a bursary to students coming from poor and working class backgrounds and also aims to close the funding gap when it comes to the missing middle. This is why ISFAP also extends their funding to missing middle students.

ISFAP was established in response to the Fees Must Fall Movement and during that time, the then Minister of Higher Education & Training put together a Ministerial Task Team whose job it was to identify operative and funding models to respond to the funding crisis and calls for free education. 

The ISFAP bursary will cover your tuition fees, accommodation fees, food, learning materials, living allowance and you will also receive non-academic support.

This non-academic support includes a project manager, which will guide and assist you on your study journey as well as having tutorial support, life support, admin support, life skills training and staff mentors available to you. ISFAP calls this their 'wrap-around support' as their funding goes further than just covering your fees, but your well-being as well.

More Articles About ISFAP

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student who got an isfap bursary

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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