Will NSFAS Fund My Degree If I Have A Higher Certificate Already?


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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme aims to grant access to higher education through a NSFAS bursary or a NSFAS loan. One question that has popped up is: will NSFAS fund me if I received a Higher Certificate and want to pursue a degree?


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Bursaries and loans provided by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has enabled millions of students to study further and gain a tertiary qualification. NSFAS funding is geared towards students who come from poor and working class backgrounds.

In this article, we'll be answering the question: will NSFAS fund me if I received a Higher Certificate and want to pursue a degree?

NSFAS funding is available to students who want to study at one of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET Colleges in South Africa.

Will NSFAS fund me if I received a Higher Certificate and want to pursue a degree?

When looking at the above question, we have to refer to the Academic Pathways allowed for students by NSFAS. Higher Certificates offer a pathway to further studies, including diploma and degree programmes.

With this in mind, NSFAS explains:

The only approved University progression pathway is from a qualification that has been defined as a certificate qualification to a qualification that has been defined as an undergraduate qualification, noting that NSFAS only funds students studying towards their first certificate or undergraduate qualification.

This means that yes, NSFAS will fund you if you have attained a Higher Certificate and want to study towards a degree.

Undergraduate qualifications that NSFAS does fund include Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and a National First Degree.

NSFAS Requirements

  • Passed Grade 9 to 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET college and Grade 12 to receive funding to study at a university or TVET college
  • South African citizen
  • All SASSA grant recipients qualifies for funding
  • Household income must be between R0 and R350 000 per annum for bursaries and between R350 001 and R600 000 for a loan
  • Must be studying or planning to study at a public higher education institution

How To Apply For NSFAS

When you decide you want to make a NSFAS financial aid application you must have internet access to apply online. Before you apply online at NSFAS you will need to first create a myNSFAS account, which you can do by clicking here. Once your account is up and running you will follow the following steps.

  • Click on the 'APPLY' tab and complete all the sections provided.
  • You need to supply your own cellphone number and ID number.
  • Upload required documents where applicable - usually in 2024 when you submit your application supporting documents aren't needed. Sometimes ID number and ID document or your birth certificate will be required.
  • And then you click submit. Make sure you complete your application before the closing date.
  • Another way to apply is to download NSFAS app from the app store.

Suggested Article:

pamphlet about nsfas appeals

Every year, thousands of students apply for NSFAS funding. Unfortunately, every applicant won't make it but NSFAS does offer a second chance through NSFAS appeals.






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