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Thing To Know
NSFAS is a government scheme set up to help young people pay for tuition at any of the 25 public universities and 50 public FET colleges in the country. NSFAS provides loans and scholarships that will cover your tuition, accommodation, living expenses and travel while you study.
Who qualifies for NSFAS?
All South African citizens, registered at South African institutions, who are in need of financial assistance and can prove that they’ll be academically successful, are eligible for NSFAS funding. While NSFAS funds primarily undergraduate students, further study can also be covered if it is required for your chosen career. (This would be that case, for example, with law, which requires you to have a postgraduate, LLB degree.)
How do I apply?
It’s quite simple, really. Full time registered students who meet the entry requirements for the scheme just have to complete and submit NSFAS applications forms at their university’s financial aid offices. The only catch is that funding isn’t automatically renewed, so students need to make sure to reapply every year.
How do they decide who makes the cut?
To determine who qualifies for NSFAS, applicants have to undergo a “means test” to rank how financially needy they are. This is a formula which takes into account the household income, the number of dependents in the household, and the family’s cost of living. Usually, students with an annual household income of R160 000 or less will be eligible to apply. A family contribution to the fees may, however, need to be made, depending on the means test.
Do you qualify?
- A South African citizen;
- Financially needy as determined by the NSFAS means test;
- Academically deserving and can demonstrate the ability to succeed in your studies; and
- If you have applied or are applying to study at a public university or TVET College for a qualification.
- You need to have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university.
- All applicants currently receiving SASSA grants will not be means tested;
- Orphans and children with unemployed parents;
- All learners from no-fee schools.