Which Postgrad Courses Will The NSFAS Loan Cover?

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NSFAS assists thousands of students pay for their studies every year. The financial aid scheme is set to fund postgraduate students though the provision of student loans. 

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In 2024, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) finally decided to fund postgraduate studies in South Africa. This has come as welcomed news for thousands of students who want to further their education beyond their first qualification. 

NSFAS provides comprehensive bursaries and student loans to deserving learners enrolled in approved courses at universities and TVET colleges. The NSFAS funding not only includes money for tuition and registration fees but also includes several allowances for food, accommodation and learning materials. 

When Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande launched the Comprehensive Student Funding Model, many people expected that the minister would only announce the establishment of a loan scheme for missing middle students. 

However, in addition to the establishment of a loan scheme, the minister announced that NSFAS funding would also be made available to students wanting to enrol in postgraduate courses. 

This means that if students want to study a postgraduate course at public universities or TVET colleges, they can apply for a NSFAS student loan.

Which Postgrad Courses Will The NSFAS Loan Cover? 

Strategic Enablement Executive at NSFAS, Vuyokazi Mafilika that the NSFAS loans will cover all-encompassing postgraduate qualifications. 

NSFAS missing middle loans will have a particular emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programmes, constituting 70% of beneficiaries. The remaining 30% will be allocated to Humanities and social science programmes.

She continued to explains:

There are concerns around funding for postgraduate research-based qualifications. As part of strengthening the policy document, we are expanding provisions for postgraduate funding and the requirements thereof.

Once students are approved, they would need to sign a NSFAS loan agreement. If the students perform well, up to 50% of the student loan can be converted to a bursary.

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NSFAS not only offers bursaries but loans as well. Once you apply for a NSFAS loan, you might receive a 'provisionally funded' NSFAS status.

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