As of 1 August 2016, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) opened its student-centred application model.
First-time applications for financial aid, as well as funding renewal for those students who are already recipients of NSFAS funding, are handled centrally via NSFAS. While applicants may have applied to multiple institutions for admission to study, only one financial aid application linked directly to NSFAS will be required.
As of the 2018 academic year, an increase in the NSFAS financial eligibility criteria for first time entering students (FTENS) came into effect.
Changing from a loan to a grant, while the gross income cut-off is set at R350 000 per family income per annum, the financial eligibility for current students remains unchanged.
All students and learners who need financial assistance are encouraged to apply to NSFAS through the NSFAS Online Application system.
First Time Student Applicants
All potential first-year students applying to study in the subsequent year are required to apply directly to NSFAS via www.nsfas.org.za
Applications normally open from 1 September annually and close on 30 November the year before your admission and registration as a student.
Please apply early to ensure that you have the necessary documentation to submit the application.
Currently Registered Students Already Funded By NSFAS
Academic eligibility renewal criteria for all currently registered students (at any institution) already funded by NSFAS will be required to check eligibility for renewal, and will be informed of whether these students still meet the requirements for continued funding.
Currently Registered Students Applying For NSFAS Funding For The First Time
Students not currently funded by NSFAS, or who are on a government-funded bursary programme, may apply for funding if they require financial aid in the next academic year. For students in this category, applications normally open on 1 September annually and close on 30 November. If you think that your current funder may not renew your funding, you are encouraged to submit an NSFAS application before the closing date.
Late applications will not be considered. Late applications will not be accepted after the closing date and it is therefore important that your application is received on time. Applications open and close the year prior to your registration year.
How and where to apply
The NSFAS contact details are outlined below should you require assistance or visit your closest tertiary institution’s Financial Aid Office for further assistance.
Toll-free Number:0860 0067 327
We encourage applicants to print a copy of their NSFAS online application and keep a record of all supporting documents, should they require these later. Be sure to check the listed email account regularly for correspondence from NSFAS and the UWC.
IMPORTANT: All applicants that apply online to NSFAS need to ensure that they receive an application reference number after the application is submitted. Please note that your application has not submitted successfully if you do not receive an application reference number.