What Benefits Does NSFAS Offer Students?

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was established in 1991 and replaced the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA) in 1999 with the gazetting of the NSFAS Act of 1999. NSFAS is fully supported by the Department of Education and training. The main aim of NSFAS is to provide financial support to eligible students to help pay for the cost of their tertiary education at any TVET college or University.

What benefits does NSFAS offer students?

NSFAS will cover the following to students studying at a national university:

  • Tuition fees: NSFAS will cover a course from any university, vocational education and training education if students performs academically well and pass all the modules that are within the course material
  • Accommodation: NSFAS will only cover residence accommodation and will not cover any form of private accommodation if students exceed the cost of staying in a university residence
  • Transport: Funding will only be provided to students travelling up to 40km from a university which typically accumulates to R10 000 a year.
  • Students are also allocated a living allowance amounting to R14 400 per annum 
  • Students will also receive a book allowance of R5 000 per annum

NSFAS will cover the following to students studying at a TVET institution:

  • Accommodation: Students living in an urban area will receive R24 000 a year, any area between the city center and the outskirts of a central town will receive a budget of R18 000 per annum and lastly an allowance of R15 000 is allocated for students living in a rural area.
  • Transport is only covered to students travelling up to 40km from an institution and the budget amounts to R10 000 per annum.
  • In addition there is a personal care allowance of R2 750 per annum.
  • There is also a personal care budget which amounts to R2 850 per annum for students based in catered residences

All candidates applying for a NSFAS loan will only be funded for a maximum of 5 years based on the availability of funding in each year. In an event where students change their course of study and your studies take more than 5 years to complete, students will have to pay for their own studies until they graduate.

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NSFAS has opened its application season for learners and out-of-school youth who will be studying at public universities and TVET colleges in 2022. However, some applicants have had trouble finding their courses listed on the NSFAS website. 

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