The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government bursary which funds disadvantaged South African students who study at public universities or Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
TVET students need to keep up with certain academic standards in order to remain funded by the NSFAS bursary throughout their years of studying.
NSFAS will continue to fund TVET students progressing to the next NC(V) level if they passed at least 5 subjects in the previous NC(V) level.
If there is stricter criteria for progression to the next level that is set by the TVET college according to their progression policy, then students will have to meet the progression requirements of the TVET college in order to remain funded by NSFAS.
Students who are enrolled in Report 191 programmes progressing to the next level must pass a minimum of 3 subjects in the previous N-level according to NSFAS requirements for returning students.
Additionally, the requirements for academic advancement for continuing students enrolled in occupational programmes will be established by TVET colleges, with their performance outcomes communicated to NSFAS.
As of 2024, continuing and First Time Entering Students (FTEN) university students must achieve a credit pass rate of 50%. Continuing and FTEN university students must achieve a course credit pass rate of 60% for the end of the 2024 academic year to succeed academically for the 2025 funding year.
However, if the progression criteria to the next level is stricter as per the progression policy of the TVET college, then students will need to meet the college's criteria in order to receive NSFAS funding again.
Academic progression criteria requirements for continuing students enrolled in occupational programmes will be determined by TVET colleges, and the results shared with NSFAS.
Other requirements that TVET students must meet to be funded by NSFAS includes:
- Must be a South African citizen
- Must be registered or intending to register on a PLP, NC(V) or Report 191 programme at any of the fifty (50) public TVET Colleges in South Africa
- Must be in need of financial assistance
- Must not be enrolling for a qualification that duplicates previous learning that was state-funded
- Household income is less than R350,000 per year
NSFAS funds TVET College students by covering registration and tuition fees as well as providing allowances for accommodation, transport and personal expenses.
Once a student haas been rejected due to not meeting the NSFAS academic eligibility criteria requirements, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid from NSFAS.