Increase In NSFAS Applications As More Jobs Are Lost
NSFAS application numbers will be higher during this application cycle than before due to Covid-19 greatly affecting South Africa's job sector and individuals' finances. NSFAS applications are currently open and will close on 30 November.
The pandemic has lead to many losing their jobs and many having their salaries cut due to the reduced rate of work it presented. NSFAS application numbers will then be higher during this application cycle than before due to Covid-19 greatly affecting South Africa's job sector and individuals' finances.
NSFAS applications are currently open and will close on 30 November.
During a webinar with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) on funding opportunities, NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen said that it was found that applications for funding in the 2021 academic year are higher than it normally is and that this was expected.
IOL reported, "As more people lose their jobs due to the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown, the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is experiencing an increased demand for funding."
Carolissen said, "The reason the demand for NSFAS will increase post-Covid is because of economic hardship".
We can already see it. With still about six week to go before the cut off for NSFAS applications, we’re already at 400 000 applicants for the year. That is way above prior years
- Dr Randall Carolissen
It was also found that more students who had parents previously paying their fees were now applying for NSFAS funding for the 2021 academic year.
"Another interesting statistic we’re seeing in our applications is that there’s a number of continuing students that are now applying for the first time,” said Carolissen.
He then continued to say, "That sort of makes sense because as people lose their jobs in the Covid19 environment, whereas you did not qualify before for NSFAS you’re now in the system (but) your mother or father lost his or her job. You now qualify for NSFAS."
These continuing students will be competing with first time students to be funded, commented the Administrator.
For 2020, NSFAS is funding around 487 000 students. The financial aid scheme has a budget of R34.5 billion allocated for 2020.
SAUS President, Mischeck Mugabe, said that if all qualifying students are funded, this would contribute to there being less protests on campuses and that student funding was an instrument for stability.
You’d note that there will be stability in institutions where many of their students are funded. There’s a saying that a hungry student is an angry student. When students do not have funding for food and learning material they tend to be frustrated, emotions get to be high and they start to protest and there will be instability.
- Mischeck Mugabe
Both the NSFAS Administrator and SAUS President agreed that if students are funded, a better academic performance is seen.
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