Bursaries awarded to students by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has come as a lifesaver to many. With the bursary being highly sought-after, a guide on how to apply could be a great help.
To apply online, applicants will be required to first register and create a MyNSFAS profile on the NSFAS website at www.nsfas.org.za, which will serve as their personal account where they can log in for updates on their applications and funding throughout the year.
Applications for NSFAS bursaries are open from the end of November 2023 and close on the 31st of January 2024.
How To Submit Your NSFAS Online Application
- Create a myNsfas account
- If you have an existing myNsfas account, click on 'login' when going to myNsfas and complete your information
- If you don't have a myNsfas account, click on 'Create account'
- Log into your myNsfas account
- Click on 'Apply'
- Answer the questions on the screen
- If necessary upload any supporting documents (often you don't have to!)
- Click on 'Submit'
- You will then receive an application reference number
Do you qualify for NSFAS?
- A South African citizen;
- Financially needy as determined by the NSFAS means test;
- Academically deserving and can demonstrate the ability to succeed in your studies; and
- If you have applied or are applying to study at a public university or TVET College for a qualification.
- You need to have passed Grade 09/10/11/12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET College.
- You need to have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university.
- All applicants currently receiving SASSA grants will not be means tested;
- Orphans and children with unemployed parents;
- All learners from no-fee schools.
Nsfas provides funding to students studying at one of South Africa's public Universities and TVET Colleges who come from poor and working-class backgrounds.
The Nsfas bursary covers more than just your tuition fees with allowances given for transport, accommodation and other student needs.
Ten Tips When Applying For NSFAS Bursary Funding
Applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary can be a critical step in financing your education in South Africa. Here are ten tips to help you when applying:
Begin the application process as soon as possible. It isn't 'first come first served' but don't act like South Africans normally do and wait for the last minute to do anything. The official closing date is the 31st of January, but why not get started as soon as possible! This helps to avoid last-minute rushes and ensures that you have ample time to gather any documents they may ask for.
Understand Eligibility Criteria:
Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying. NSFAS supports South African citizens who are in need of financial aid and intend to study at a public university or TVET college. Read through the information on our website to see that you meet the combined family income threshold.
Don't Lie On Your Application:
In previous years some people thought it would be clever to pretend their family income was lower than it was. This seemed to work at first and they got into university or college - but then when NSFAS checked - and they do - they were found out! Then NSFAS withdrew their funding and the students were left owing many hundreds of thousands of Rands to their institutions and their landlords!
Gather Necessary Documents:
This shouldn't be too difficult. Most people will find they dont need too many documents as NSFAS are able to communicate directly with organisation like SARS and Home Affairs. However if they do come back to you and ask for more supporting douments you can upload them onto the MyNsfas student portal. This usually includes your ID document, proof of household income, and academic records.
Submit Application Online:
NSFAS applications are usually submitted online via their official website. Ensure you have a reliable internet connection and understand the online submission process.
Keep Passwords and Login Details Secure:
After creating an account on the NSFAS portal, keep your login details and password safe for future access. You don't want anyone to login to your account and try to hijack your application and funding.
Don't Forget To Also Apply To University Or College
The NSFAS funding isn't paid to you - most of it is paid to the university or TVET College and the allowances are only paid once you are registered at the institution. So there's no point being accepted at NSFAS if you don't have a place at a TVET College or public university.
Check for Updates Regularly:
Regularly check your email and the NSFAS website for updates regarding your application. They will also communicate via cellphone so if you can cellphone number be sure to check your email.
Be Aware of Deadlines:
Pay close attention to application deadlines and ensure your application is submitted well before the cut-off date.
Seek Help if Needed:
If you encounter difficulties during the application process, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from NSFAS. You don't have to attend in person. You can call their toll-free number or communicate with them via one of their social media accounts.