NSFAS Allowances Are Being Processed - Rhodes
In light of the national shutdown initiated by students across South Africa, Rhodes University has now released a statement where they speak on registration, NSFAS allowances, laptops for student and the academic year.
With some disruptions to the academic year and academic programme at Rhodes University, they have now released a statement giving updates on various important matters.
For the 2021 academic year, Rhodes will welcome students back in a phased approached as students are only allowed on campus if they were invited back.
The University's plans are dependent on the numbers of COVID-19 infections and the limited health facilities in Makhanda.
Rhodes has said that their staff were hard at work on registration backlogs for first year students.
Students who are not funded by NSFAS and who needed register were asked to provide payment plans.
The University also made it clear that all students who were in temporary accommodation have had their registration resolved.
The University explained that their staff were also processing students allowances.
Students who live off-campus are said to have received their allowances on 15 March and so far over 80% of students have received payments.
Rhodes said, "Payments to students who have not submitted a lease agreement or who registered after 15 March are still in process."
Those students who still need to register are encouraged to register soon and also submit their lease agreements and other required documents to the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other allowances which were cleared will be processes this week.
Students start receiving living allowances the month the academic year commences which is this month.
Payments of incidental allowances to students in University residences is said to proceed "as soon as staff are able to access their workspaces this week." All qualifying students are encouraged to submit their bank details in order to facilitate these payments.
RU has not received information from NSFAS when it comes to book allowances.
The University has not received any money from the financial aid scheme yet. This is due to NSFAS only receiving it's first bulk of money from National Treasury in April which is when they will start disbursing funds to institutions.
All payments to NSFAS students to date are from the University’s own limited resources trusting that NSFAS will release the funds sooner rather than later.
Rhodes is now working on the distribution of laptops for new students.
Due to Rhodes having not received any information on book allowances for NSFAS students, they have then had to make a decision. This allowance is usually used to purchase devices to support learning and because of that, Rhodes has said:
The University is advancing the amount needed for students who need to purchase laptops so that they can continue with their studies by accessing online materials while we await the NSFAS directives.
NSFAS promised students laptops since last year to make sure students have access to online learning. This laptop is then going to be given in place of the student's book allowance which comes to a total of R5200.
As for students who aren't funded by NSFAS, the University has started delivering laptops to first time entering. students
The online teaching and learning programme is said to be progressing well at the University.
To make way for students who will be registering late, Rhodes has said that no assignments and tests which go towards a mark will take place before 26 March.
Rhodes has mechanisms in place to help students who were negatively impacted by the pandemic to catch up.
Students are also allowed to change courses for up to two weeks after the start of term.
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