How NSFAS Loans For Missing Middle Students Will Work

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There are thousands of students who want to obtain a qualification but don't have the financial means to pay tuition fees. However, these students don't qualify for the NSFAS bursary as they don't meet the financially eligibility criteria. 

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has expanded its offerings to include loans specifically targeted at the "missing middle" student population.

Who is the Missing Middle?

The missing middle refers to students from families earning too much to qualify for the NSFAS bursary but not enough to comfortably afford tertiary education costs. This financial gap creates a significant barrier to access, and the NSFAS loan scheme aims to bridge it.

What Programmes Does the Loan Cover?

NSFAS prioritises Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, allocating 70% of the loan scheme to these programs. The remaining 30% is aimed at students enrolled in Humanities and Social Sciences programmes.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • South African citizen with a valid ID.
  • Annual household income must fall between R350,001 and R600,000.
  • Maintain a minimum average of 60% in your coursework to retain funding.
  • Registered for full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at a public university or TVET college.

What Does the Loan Cover?

Similar to the NSFAS bursary, the loan provides funding for tuition, registration fees, and allowances for essential expenses like accommodation, transport, learning materials, and other student needs. NSFAS will utilise the same disbursement channels as those used for bursary recipients.

How to Apply for an NSFAS Loan

  1. Visit the NSFAS website and click on "myNSFAS."
  2. If you are a new user, create a profile by clicking "Create a profile" and filling in the required fields.
  3. Existing users can log in with their credentials.
  4. Complete the application form and submit it electronically.

Understanding Your Application Status

A "provisionally funded" status indicates that your application is approved in principle. However, NSFAS requires additional steps before confirming the funding.

  • You will receive a pre-agreement form outlining the loan terms and conditions for your signature.
  • NSFAS will then obtain your full registration information from the institution.
  • Upon completion, a final loan agreement will be generated for your signature.

Loan Conversion to Bursary

NSFAS confirmed that up to 50% of your loan can be converted into a bursary if you achieve an average of 70%. This incentivises hard work from students. 

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NSFAS assists thousands of students pay their university and college fees. To qualify for the funding provided by NSFAS, students must meet strict eligibility criteria. 

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