Which NSFAS Allowances Do Distance TVET College Students Get?

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NSFAS not only provides funding to university students but also to students studying at one of the 50 public TVET Colleges. There have been protests about unpaid allowances but the majority of allowances have been paid. This funding also extends to distance learning students.

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a comprehensive financial aid program designed to empower deserving students in South Africa. They provide funding so that individuals can study at either one of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET Colleges.

NSFAS funding goes beyond just tuition fees. They understand the many costs students face throughout their studies.

The Higher Education Minister made a point to highlight the fact that allowances for TVET College students has been increased at a greater rate to try to align them more closely to university students' allowances in an attempt to achieve parity.

That's why they offer a variety of NSFAS allowances to help cover expenses like finding a place to live (accommodation), getting to and from classes (transport), buying textbooks and other learning materials, and even everyday living costs.

This comprehensive support system helps ensure students can focus on their studies, not how to pay for them.

However, NSFAS funding for distance learning students at TVET Colleges is different to that of on-campus students. NSFAS describes these students as:

A TVET College student categorised as a distance learning student by the TVET College and who is enrolled for the minimum number of subjects required, namely 5 out of 7 subjects for NC(v) or 3 out of 4 subjects for Report 191.

NSFAS Allowances For Distance TVET Students

According to the NSFAS Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Financial Aid:

Distance TVET College students qualify for the personal care allowance of R3,045 only.

This means that students who attend TVET Colleges but are enrolled in distance learning programmes will only have their tuition fees and registration fees covered by NSFAS and will only receive a personal care allowance once a year.

Since distance learning primarily involves studying from home, NSFAS assumes students don't require a travel allowance and already have existing accommodations. Therefore, the personal care allowance helps cover miscellaneous expenses associated with their studies.

Maintaining NSFAS Funding

Although students only apply for NSFAS once, they will assess the student's eligibility for continued funding throughout their qualification. To maintain this support, students need to meet both academic progress and financial requirements.


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Out of all 26 public universities in South Africa which accept NSFAS funding, Unisa is the most different. NSFAS students at Unisa's NSFAS funding works differently when compared to other university students.

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