How NSFAS Works For University Students

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a financial aid scheme that provides higher education funding to South African students who would like to study at TVET Colleges or public universities. If you would like to find out how NSFAS funding works for University students, keep reading.


NSFAS aims to fund those who are interested in studying further but cannot afford to do so. The bursary will cover students studying at any of the 26 Public Universities.

Their funding goes beyond tuition fees. However, only certain students are eligible.

Those eligible for NSFAS university funding will receive tuition fees, accommodation fees, transport allowances, living allowances, book allowances and incidental or personal care allowances.

After you apply and are approved, NSFAS then waits for registration information from your University. They will then pay your registration fee and your tuition fees for the year.

At the beginning of the year, for as long as you're funded, you will receive a R5200 learning materials allowance once a year, which is subject to change depending on that particular year’s budget.

Every month, you will also get your accommodation and living allowances, if you live away from home, or transport allowance if you still live at home.

Some students will also get a personal or incidental allowance every month as well.

Every month, you will receive your accommodation allowance if you live away from home.

If you've decided to live at home while you study and you live 40km away from your campus, you will then receive a transport allowance every month.

Some students will also receive a personal care allowance every month.

To qualify for NSFAS university funding, students will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a South African citizen.
  • Applied or are applying to study at a public university
  • You need to have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university or college.
  • Applicants whose combined household income is not more than R350 000 per annum
  • A person with a disability with a combined household income of no more than R600 000 per annum.
  • Should you be a returning student, you must demonstrate proven and accepted academic performance in line with the university’s progression policy or the progression prescriptions of the Bursary Rules and Guidelines.
  • Must not be enrolling for a qualification that duplicates previous learning that was state-funded.

Students may apply for funding using myNSFAS. These students will need the following documents to apply:

  • SA ID document or Unabridged Birth Certificate
  • Their parents or guardians ID documents.
  • Consent Form, which is available on the NSFAS website.
  • Proof of income for your parents or guardian.

For more information about NSFAS funding, click here.



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