The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) provides bursaries to students from poor and working-class backgrounds, which allows them to obtain tertiary education qualifications from public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. You can apply up until the closing date.
Bursaries from NSFAS cover tuition and accommodation fees for students who are approved for funding and who are registered at tertiary education intuition. These students will also receive meal, transport and textbook allowances.
However, it sometimes happens that your application has been rejected. In some cases, you can appeal and resubmit, but in other cases (depending on the status message you see), you will not be able to appeal.
When you see these Nsfas statuses after submitting your application and having it rejected, you cannot appeal:
- The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has information on their system that is wrong. In this case, applicants cannot appeal and must visit the DHA to correct the information.
- The applicant who is applying, is using someone else’s name who is deceased and is trying to commit fraud.
NSFAS status: Application received after closing date
- NSFAS will not accept any late applications for 2023. If you receive this status, it means you’re applying once applications are closed and your application will be rejected. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: DHA Error
- Nsfas wasn’t able to find the applicant on the Department of Home Affairs database. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: not eligible for funding; funded by other bursary
- Applicant has been receiving another bursary. You are not eligible for Nsfas if you are receiving other financial aid. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: Income greater than R350k
- One of the main requirements for Nsfas is that an applicant (who is able-bodied) has a household income of R350 000 per year or less. If it’s found that their household income exceeds R350 000 per year, they would be rejected. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: Change from NC(V)/Report 191 in academic career
- This applies to TVET College students. There is a clear set of rules when it comes to TVET NSFAS funding, and if the rules are not followed, the application will be rejected. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: Change in programme in academic career
- This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: Did not meet the 50% academic progression requirements
- This applies to returning students only. Nsfas has academic requirements for returning students that need to be met in order to remain eligible for funding. This status cannot be appealed.
NSFAS status: N+ rule exceeded
- Currently, the N+1 rule is in place, which means that students only have N+1 years to finish a degree. “N” is the minimum number of years allocated to complete a qualification (i.e. record time). The “+1” refers to the extra year that a student may need to complete the qualification (making the maximum time). Whether you can appeal or not is conditional.
Other reasons why you cannot submit an appeal to Nsfas include:
- The student is registered for a qualification that Nsfas does not fund
They have reached N+2 (N+3 in the case of a student living with a Disability).
The detail of the appeal indicates that the student is disclosing different parental or legal guardian information than what was disclosed in the application, or if the student is now indicating that they are independent, which is different to the application.
The institution has not submitted or has submitted an incorrect registration record to NSFAS – such issues must be addressed directly with the institution.
Failure to provide adequate and substantial evidence to support the appeal within the specified time frames will result in rejection.
NSFAS reminded students that they reserve the right to verify all appeal documentation, including through third-party sources, and will reject appeals if the supporting evidence cannot be validated. They also reserve the right to reject supporting evidence provided in the form of affidavits.
When applying, NSFAS bursary applicants must ensure the ID number they enter is correct to avoid an unnecessary rejection message.