The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans. Recently they came under fire for a Twitter post which stated that those students who receive the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant from SASSA do not qualify for NSFAS funding.
NSFAS has released a statement regarding this, saying that the post was factually incorrect and that only those with a combined household income of more than R350 000 per year do not qualify for funding.
"The Covid-19 grant is not currently part of the eligibility criteria for funding students and therefore the R350 is not taken into account," the statement read.
NSFAS has apologized for any inconvenience caused by this factually incorrect statement which was posted by a NSFAS employee.
NSFAS offers bursaries to South African students who plan to study at public universities and TVET colleges. They cover funding for registration, tuition and allowances.
Students must meet the following requirements to qualify for funding from NSFAS.
- Must be an South African citizen
- Have financial constraints which doesn't allow you to fund your own studies such as:
- Must not earn earn a combined household income of R350 000 per year.
- You are a SASSA grant recipient
- You are applying to get a formal qualification from a public university or TVET College
- You passed grade 9 to 12 (for those applying for TVET funding)
- You passed grade 12 (for those applying for University funding)
NSFAS will fund students for the entire duration of their course or degree. Most degrees take about 3 to 4 years, whereas medical degrees for example take up to 7 years. However, they will fund an extra year of study should a student fail one year.
NSFAS Statement: NSFAS notes the factually incorrect post, stating that students who receive the R350 relief grant do not qualify for NSFAS funding. We would like to clarify that applicants with a combined household income of more than R350 000 per year do not qualify for funding pic.twitter.com/s0M2Z4Tq0b
— NSFAS (@myNSFAS) March 7, 2021