NSFAS Only Approved 139 Missing Middle Student Loans So Far

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Despite receiving thousands of applications for NSFAS loans, just over one hundred missing middle students have been approved for NSFAS loans. There are several reasons why this may be the case. 

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has confirmed that more than 22 954 student loan applications were submitted in 2024. Despite receiving thousands of applications, just over 100 students were provisionally funded. 

NSFAS received 22 954 loan applications (as of 16 February 2024), and the application closing date was also on the 15 of February 2024.

NSFAS missing middle student loans was launched as part of the Comprehensive Funding Model in January by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. These loans are  available to students who do not qualify for NSFAS bursaries but cannot afford the costs associated with higher education. 

Missing middle students refer to individuals who come from households with a combined income exceeding the threshold set by NSFAS of R350,000 and don’t qualify for government-funded support. Despite exceeding the household income threshold, these students cannot afford the cost of higher education. 

The minister revealed that NSFAS will offer 31 000 missing middle student loans in 2024. 

NSFAS has revealed that only 139 missing middle loan applications were approved. This approval only means that the student who submitted the application is provisionally funded. 

Provisionally funded students will only begin benefiting from their NSFAS loan if their registration is confirmed by the institution they are enrolled in. 

The financial aid scheme said 12,890 loan applications are awaiting evaluations. These elevations will be conducted by NSFAS to ensure the students meet all the loan eligibility criteria before being funded. 

A total of 841 NSFAS loans applications was withdrawn by students while 30 applications are still in progress.

NSFAS revealed that 8,345 applications are on the NOT-STARTED. NOT-STARTED applications refer to situations where applicants only created profiles and did not submit applications. 

NSFAS has rejected 476 loan applications and only five of the rejected applicants have submitted NSFAS appeals.

NSFAS says it is committed to transparency and efficiency in communicating funding decisions to applicants. Decisions are communicated as applications are processed, with additional resources allocated to expedite the process. 

The financial aid scheme has deployed 100 case workers with the aim of processing all applications by the end of February 2024 and resolving any appeals by April 2024. 

NSFAS has made the budget available for additional resources (100 case workers) to ensure that all applications are processed by no later than the end of February and further processes all 2024 appeals received by no later than the end of April 2024.

This article was update on 19 February 2024.

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Almost two million applications were submitted for NSFAS 2024 funding. The financial aid scheme has revealed how many students have been confirmed for funding for the upcoming academic year. 

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