Everything you need to know about your NSFAS allowance

Please share this article


Do you know which study costs are included in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)?

There are many expenses associated with higher education besides tuition. For example, students may need to purchase specific learning materials, while others may require accommodation during their period of study. NSFAS aims to cover any extra costs through its student allowance system.

What is a student allowance?

Students who qualify for a government bursary will be eligible to receive funding for study-related expenses, this is known as a student allowance. NSFAS beneficiaries are provided with a student allowance on a monthly basis. These allowances are paid in cash, either directly to the student via NSFAS Wallet or via the institution to the student. Allowances are subject to annual increases determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Students are funded according to their specific university needs and expenses. NSFAS will typically start paying allowances to qualified students at the end of January when academic activities resume.

What type of allowances does NSFAS provide?

According to the NSFAS website, the following allowances are included in the bursary:


  • Accommodation: amount is the actual cost charged by the university. If private, the cost must not exceed costs for university residence.
  • Transport: R7 500 per annum (up to 40 km from institution)
  • Living allowance: R15 000 per annum
  • Book allowance: R5200 per annum (only applies at universities)
  • Personal Care allowance: R2900 per annum



  • Accommodation:
    • in urban area - R24 000 per annum
    • in peri-urban area - R18 900 per annum
    • in rural area - R15 750 per annum 
  • Transport: R7 350 (up to 40 km from institution)
  • Personal Care allowance: R2 900 per annum 

What has changed in the NSFAS allowance system?

NSFAS now incorporates a personal care allowance in its bursary scheme in order to cover the toiletry and sanitary needs of students. Students should also note that NSFAS no longer provides book vouchers for university students. Instead, students are paid a cash allowance to purchase relevant learning materials.

Are student allowances monitored?

NSFAS has no mechanism to monitor students spending of cash allowances. NSFAS believes that students should be treated as adults and have the financial freedom to withdraw the cash voucher and make an informed decision on how to best utilise the funds. Students need to spend their allowance responsibly and use this opportunity to learn how to manage their money.


WhatsApp Channel

Sponsored Ad



Google News


Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a multitude of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even considering entrepreneurial ventures, each offering unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.

You've probably been contemplating the next chapter of your life all throughout the year asking yourself, 'what am I going to study after I finish completing my matric certificate exams?', 'am I going to study? What else can I do when I pass'? Well, we can help.


Where to Study


Other Articles

Making the right career choices can be a daunting task, especially for recent Matriculants or those contemplating a midlife career shift. But here’s the good news – it’s never too late to pursue your dreams or change your career path, and Regent Business School (RBS) is here to guide you through the journey of informed decision-making.


Latest SASSA articles

Millions of vulnerable people rely on Sassa grants to purchase basic goods every month. However, does Sassa pay grants on weekends?

Sassa's Social Relief of Distress grant is a temporary measure millions of South Africans depend on. An important part of being an SRD grant beneficiary is knowing all there is to know about the Sassa status check appeal process.

Editors choice

In an ideal world, every girl should have equal opportunities to pursue their aspirations and be the best version of themselves. Unfortunately, we live in a society where disadvantaged children face many challenges that hinder their ability to reach their full potential.


Careers Advice

Tertiary education providers face a number of challenges, including a high dropout rate. This is where FundiMatch can help.