Why NSFAS Is Delayed With Funding Decisions For 2024

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The 2024 academic year has been set in motion but many students are feeling hopeless due to NSFAS delays. Thousands of students are still waiting for NSFAS funding decisions while others have not been paid NSFAS allowances.

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) recently closed their application period for 2024 NSFAS funding. Over 1.9 million bursary applications were received by NSFAS for the 2024 academic year. 

Universities have now commenced with their registration periods. However, there have been complaints from applicants that they still haven't received NSFAS funding decisions, which are needed to register.

NSFAS Spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said, "we were waiting for students to upload their consent forms in order for us to determine the financial eligibility of of the parents that applied for for the students".

We were a bit delayed in the verification of the financial eligibility, now that is behind us. We are now moving to make sure that all the applications gets assessed so that students can be able to get their feedback.

Part of NSFAS funding includes the registration fee, with NSFAS disbursing upfront payments to Universities to cover this. NSFAS has said that at the end of January, they paid to R2.8 billion universities and R580 million to TVET Colleges.

"We have made an arrangement for all NSFAS students not to pay even the registration fee considering that NSFAS is making these tranche payments to institutions to cover all these other areas," said Mnisi.

NSFAS Allowance Delays

Some students have also been stranded with no place to sleep due to accommodation and transport allowances not being paid. At some universities, students are found to be sleeping in hallways, on floors and in makeshift beds in libraries.

Spokesperson at South African Union of Students (SAUS), Asive Dlanjwa, has demanded that NSFAS pays allowances saying:

The crisis we are having with our current funding model is that it is headed by people without the slightest level of capacity to be able to administer the funding. Fortunately for us, it is not the insufficiency of funding but that of system incompetency to be able to ensure that the roll out of this fund is done effectively and efficiently.

NSFAS isn't directly taking accountability for NSFAS allowance payment failures and rather refers to miscommunication between them and institutions, saying:

There's been a concern that there has not been a clear indication as to what that money must be used for. This money will be meant for tuition and also for accommodation including the book allowances.

Mnisi continued to say, "We are looking at dispersing more to institutions to make sure that there is no student NSFAS beneficiaries who are not covered for them to begin the academic year".

"We are taking responsibility of making sure that our students are covered and the institutions as well."

The NSFAS Spokesperson has said that they are looking at doing another tranche allocation to institutions so that they can cover all those NSFAS students who have been approved.

Suggested Article:

NSFAS missing middle loans

Despite receiving funding to assist thousands of students, only around 100 students have been approved for NSFAS middle loans. Civil society groups have labeled the NSFAS missing middle loans as failed promises. 


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