The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) board has decided to allow students who are registered for the 2021 academic year, who qualify for NSFAS for this year but didn’t apply - for whatever reason - a 2 week opportunity to apply for funding from NSFAS.
The 2 week application period will run from 18 August 2021 until 3 September 2021.
NSFAS has encouraged universities to notify students to apply and have all the relevant supporting documents needed when they do so, as applications which are submitted after the closing date will not be considered.
This application window will only be open to students who qualify for the NSFAS bursary and who are registered for the 2021 academic year. These students should be without any form of bursary and financial support to be eligible.
The decision to open this application window was aimed at minimizing student debt and relieving eligible students of financial burden.
This decision was welcomed by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande who made the announcement on Saturday.
Nzimande has welcomed the decision by the NSFAS Board to request the database of the unfunded 2021 registered students who were eligible for NSFAS funding in all universities.
He says that NSFAS decided to do this after carefully considering the predicament of those students who are currently registered but were unable to apply for funding during the application window due to various reasons.
Nzimande said that universities were required to send their lists of these students by no later than 17 August to be considered for the once-off application period.
He said that available funds were taken into consideration before the decision was taken by NSFAS.
"We are indeed a caring government and ministry," Nzimande said.