As any one who has pursued tertiary studies will tell you, funding is the most crucial part of ensuring that students complete their studies. This is particularly the case for aspiring students who come from historically disadvantaged households.
Under the mandate of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is the means through which the government bridges this gap by providing funding to this cohort of students.
However, there are certain limitations to which courses and course levels are considered eligible for funding by NSFAS. The bursary scheme funds all undergraduate qualification programs at all the country’s public higher learning institutions with the exception of few as it may be determined by NSFAS as per the available funding of the academic year.
University courses not funded by NSFAS include the following: Short courses, courses offered at a private college or private higher education institution and part-time studies.
Postgraduate courses and a second undergraduate qualification are also included in the list of qualifications for which NSFAS will not provide funding.
Additionally, if and when a NSFAS student change their course, they will be required to notify the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of their change of academic records, courses of study, or institution for that matter. This helps NSFAS to update their records in their system so that they can continue to provide funding.
University courses funded by NSFAS
- Certificate qualifications - registered on NQF Level 5 and have a qualification type of Higher Certificate or National Higher Certificate.
- Undergraduate qualifications - NQF Level 6 and have a qualification type of Advanced Certificate, Diploma (minimum course credits of 240), Diploma (minimum course credits of 360) or National Diploma, or NQF Level 7 or 8 and have a qualification type of National First Degree, or National First Degree (minimum course credits of 480).