Who Can Appeal Their NSFAS Application?

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Are you wondering if you qualify to appeal your NSFAS application? Keep reading to find out if you are eligible to appeal your application.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) awards deserving students with a NSFAS bursary to further their studies at a public university or TVET college.

Students who have been assessed and received an unsuccessful NSFAS application status will automatically be able to lodge an appeal

Who Is Allowed To Lodge An Appeal?

The following students are allowed to lodge an appeal:

New applicants are allowed to appeal if their application was declined for the following reasons:

  • Insufficient information provided

  • Financial ineligibility

  • Academic ineligibility

Continuing students are allowed to appeal if declined based on:

GAP year students are required to re-apply for NSFAS funding.

Students who have reached the N+2 limit (or N+3 in the case of those who live with a disability) are not permitted to lodge an appeal.

“N” refers to the minimum number of years to complete a qualification and “+” refers to the number of additional years funded in the case where a student fails. 

Submitting an appeal is similar to how you submitted your NSFAS online application form. Only students who have been incorrectly rejected are urged to submit an appeal by the closing date.

How To Submit Your NSFAS Appeal

  1. Click here to visit the myNSFAS website.
  2. Log into your myNSFAS account.
  3. Click the 'Track Funding Progress' option.
  4. Check the application progress tabs.
  5. If your application status reflects an unsuccessful message, you may submit an appeal by clicking on the 'Submit Appeal Tab'.
  6. Once you are on the 'Application Appeal' page, you can see the reason for your unsuccessful application status.
  7. You are then able to choose the appeal reason.
  8. Upload certified supporting documents to support your reason.
  9. Click 'Submit Appeal'.

Students may track the progress of their appeal on their myNSFAS account. 

NSFAS should respond to the appeal within 30 days.


NSFAS is a South African government entity that provides financial assistance to students who are unable to afford the costs of tertiary education. Established in 1991, NSFAS aims to make higher education accessible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The scheme offers bursaries to eligible students, which cover tuition fees, registration fees, accommodation, books, study materials and other related expenses. The funds are provided based on the financial need of the applicants and are repayable upon completion of their studies, with favourable terms and conditions. 

NSFAS plays a crucial role in supporting the educational aspirations of thousands of students, helping them pursue their academic goals and contributing to the overall development of South Africa's human capital.

Eligibility Criteria For NSFAS Funding

  • Citizenship or Permanent Residency: Applicants must be a South African citizen or hold permanent residency status.
  • Financial Need: NSFAS primarily assists students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Applicants need to demonstrate a genuine financial need for support, as determined through a means test. If you are a Sassa grant recipient, you will automatically qualify. Typically, your annual household income will need to be below R350 000.
  • Academic Performance: While there is no strict academic requirement, students need to meet the minimum academic standards set by their respective higher education institutions to remain eligible for NSFAS funding.
  • Higher Education Institution Acceptance: Students must have gained admission or be in the process of applying to a recognised public higher education institution in South Africa.

Please note that the specific eligibility requirements may change over time, and it's recommended to consult the official NSFAS website or contact their offices directly for the most up-to-date information and application guidelines.

If you submit an appeal, it is important that you regularly check the status of your appeal.

How To Track Your NSFAS Appeal Status

  1. Visit the official NSFAS website: Go to the NSFAS website at www.nsfas.org.za.
  2. Log in to your NSFAS account: Enter your username and password to log in to your existing NSFAS account. If you don't have an account, you may need to create one before proceeding.
  3. Access your application or appeals section: Once logged in, navigate to the section that relates to your application or appeals. This may vary depending on the website's layout and any updates to the user interface.
  4. Check your appeal status: Look for the specific section that displays your appeal status. It should provide information on whether your appeal has been approved, rejected, or is still being processed. You may also see any additional updates or requirements related to your appeal.
  5. Contact NSFAS for further assistance: If you have any questions or need more information about your appeal status, it is recommended to contact NSFAS directly. You can find their contact information on their website or reach out to their helpline for personalised support. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your appeal.

Remember to regularly check your NSFAS account and keep an eye out for any notifications or updates from NSFAS regarding your appeal.

What Institutions Can You Get NSFAS Funding For?

NSFAS provides funding for eligible students studying at public higher education institutions in South Africa. These institutions include:

  • Universities: NSFAS provides funding for undergraduate studies at all 26 public universities in South Africa, including universities such as the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, Limpopo University, University of Pretoria, and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Universities of Technology: including Durban University of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and others
  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges: NSFAS also provides funding for students enrolled in TVET colleges. TVET colleges are institutions that offer vocational and technical education and training programs across various fields of study.

It's important to note that NSFAS funding is typically available for students studying full-time at these institutions. However, the specific list of eligible institutions and programmes may change over time, and it is advisable to consult the NSFAS website or contact their offices directly for the most up-to-date information on the institutions they provide funding for.

What Supporting Documents Do You Need When Submitting A NSFAS Appeal?

Depending on the reason for your rejection, you may be required to provide different supporting documents when lodging an appeal. 

  • Appeal Letter: A well-written appeal letter explaining your situation, reasons for the appeal, and any relevant supporting information.
  • Financial Documents: Documents that provide evidence of your financial situation, such as bank statements, proof of income (if applicable), proof of unemployment (if applicable), and any other relevant financial records.
  • Academic Records: Copies of your academic transcripts, matric results, or any other educational qualifications that support your academic performance or progress.
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement explaining any extenuating circumstances or challenges you faced that affected your academic performance or financial situation.
  • Supporting Documentation for Special Circumstances: If you are appealing based on special circumstances (such as medical issues, family emergencies, or personal challenges), provide relevant medical reports, death certificates, or any other supporting documents to substantiate your claim.
  • Proof of Registration: A document that confirms your registration or acceptance at a recognised public higher education institution.

Click here for a more specific list of documents you may need to upload.

How To Transfer Money From Your NSFAS Wallet To Your Bank Account

NSFAS introduced the NSFAS Wallet as a way for students to receive their monthly allowances in a much more convenient way. The NSFAS Wallet allows students to withdraw cash and/or purchase goods at any merchant registered by NSFAS.

Unfortunately, students are not able to transfer funds from their NSFAS Wallet into another bank account. However, the NSFAS Wallet works similarly to a bank account.

Students are allowed to, however, create a cash voucher using their NSFAS Wallet. Students may then take the cash voucher to a participating store to receive the cash in return. 

These are the participating stores which redeem cash vouchers:

  • Checkers
  • Boxer
  • USave
  • Selected Spar stores

There is no spending limit when withdrawing cash or purchasing goods from participating stores. You may spend up to the maximum value of your cash wallet.

When the student’s NSFAS Wallet has been created, they will receive a “Welcome” SMS from NSFAS asking them to verify their account. Once their account is activated, they will be able to gain access to their funds.

Students may set up their NSFAS Wallet by following these easy steps:

  1. Receive a Welcome SMS.
  2. Verify your account by dialling *120*176# and reply with your ID number.
  3. Receive a password that you will use when transacting. (Keep this password safe.)
  4. You may visit Celbux.appspot.com to change your password. (Use the above password you received to log in.)

There is no spending limit when withdrawing cash or purchasing goods from participating stores. You may spend up to the maximum value of your cash wallet.

Suggested Article:

Checking your NSFAS status

Are you anxiously waiting to hear back from NSFAS about the status of your application? Look no further! In this guide, we will show you just how easy it is to check your NSFAS application status. Whether you are a first-time applicant or a returning student, we understand that the waiting game can be nerve-wracking.



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