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NSFAS Receives Over 400 000 Applications For 2019

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor says the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received more than 400 000 funding applications for the 2019 financial year.

Pandor said, meanwhile, that NSFAS went on the road and reached out to learners across the country to encourage them to apply for the bursary scheme for next year.

This included visits to community centres, shopping malls, high schools, clinics, churches, door-to-door campaigns and taxi ranks. She said this was also an opportunity for NSFAS to engage with parents and working youth who commute daily in the early hours to drive the application message home to their children and siblings.

“Through this campaign, NSFAS accessed as many people across as wide an area as possible, to ensure that everyone who may have wanted to apply for NSFAS was able to do so.

“NSFAS has informed me that feedback from applications has been positive, especially the fact that applications can be made on-line with a cellphone, and progress can be tracked on the cellphone. Nevertheless manual applications are still accepted and have been made in significant numbers in instances where access to technology remains a challenges.

Requirements for qualification

Pandor said the scheme was in the process of evaluating all applications received. The evaluations process checks whether applicants are eligible for funding by verifying all data received by students with third parties like the SA Revenue Service and Home Affairs.

“To qualify for funding a student must meet the financial eligibility criteria and register at an institution for an approved programme. Successful students will received bursary funding to cover their tuition fee for their registered programme and an allowance for learning materials. They may also qualify for subsidized accommodation and transport allowances where applicable,” she said.

She said NSFAS will communicate to students who meet the financial eligibility criteria and have received an academic offer via SMS and email at the beginning of January, and once academic results have been made available to NSFAS.

“Funding is only confirmed once a student has met the financial eligibility criteria and is formally registered at a public TVET college or university for an approved funded programme.

“During this process, NSFAS will work closely with institutions to ensure that integration of data is quick and seamless to allow the timeous release of funds to students and to avoid any repetition of the delays of 2018, where some qualifying students were left frustrated, homeless, hungry and without confirmation of their funding,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za

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