One of the best ways to secure your future is through higher education. Having a degree or diploma opens the doors to far more career opportunities in exciting fields, opportunities that you would not be able to access without those qualifications. However, for many students, the only obstacle to pursuing higher training is financial assistance. NSFAS solves that problem by providing qualifying students with financial aid to attend a university or TVET college of their choice.
Do You Qualify For A NSFAS Bursary?
The purpose of the National Student Finance Scheme is to provide funding for South African students from poor or working-class families who would otherwise not be able to afford to further their studies. Therefore, applicants need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for the bursary:
- Be a South African citizen.
- Have a combined household income that does not exceed R350,000 per year.
- If the applicant has a disability, the combined household income cannot exceed R600,000 per year.
- If you receive a SASSA grant, you automatically qualify for funding.
Besides meeting the aforementioned criteria, you will not be eligible to apply if:
- You have completed a previous qualification.
- You currently have funding with NSFAS (funding application remains active for the duration of your studies).
- You’re a foreign student.
If you’re eligible based on this criterion, you can apply for an NSFAS bursary.
The Two-Step Process To Apply For A NSFAS Bursary
Now that you have determined that you are eligible for an NSFAS bursary, head over to nsfas.org to begin the application process. You can complete the entire application process online. You will also receive feedback on your funding application via SMS or email.
Step 1: Register For A Profile on My NSFAS
To begin the process, you need to register for an account using the MYNSFAS portal. You’ll need to provide your ID number, first names and surname, as well as a valid email address and cellphone number.
Before you can move onto the next step, you will also need to provide a copy of your ID card, document, or birth certificate, which you can attach to the registration page.
Be sure to keep your login details, including the password you’ve provided, so that you can log in to your My NSFAS profile later.
NB: During your registration process, NSFAS will email you a bursary agreement. These guidelines and rules stipulate the conditions under which the bursary is applicable. By continuing with the application process, you agree to be bound by the National Bursary Rules and Guidelines.
Step 2: Fill In The Required Information
Once you have created an account, NSFAS will allow you to continue the application process.
In the following steps, you will need to provide supporting documentation to confirm that you are eligible for NSFAS funding.
During the onboarding process, you will be asked whether you are dependent on one or both parents for income.
If you are dependent, you are required to attach your parent’s ID and three months payslip or bank statements. If your parent is not working, you will not need to provide a payslip or three months bank statement and only a copy of their ID.
If you are not dependent on your parents, but you are working, you will be required to attach your payslips or three-month bank statements.
You will also need to attach a signed and filled in the consent form. The consent form indicates that NSFAS can share your information with third parties and verify your information with third parties indefinitely.
Checking Your NSFAS Approval Status
Once you’ve completed the process, it’s only natural to be anxious about whether your application has been successful. Thankfully, NSFAS has created an easy-to-follow process that allows you to track your application status. To check your application process:
- Log in to your My NSFAS.
- Click on ‘Track Funding Progress’ to see where your application is. NSFAS may show you one of the following statuses:
- Successfully funded.
- Eligible for Funding but Awaiting Confirmation of Academic Admission, or
- Application Unsuccessful
Your funding status may also require you to take action, like providing additional documentation or signing your NBA. If you need to provide supporting documentation, do that immediately.
If you’re uncertain what your application status means, you can contact NSFAS on 08000 67327 or email email@example.com.
Do You Have To Reapply To NSFAS Every Year?
Some confusion exists around whether it’s necessary to apply to NSFAS every year to ensure you keep getting funding. The short answer is no. Your NSFAS funding will remain active for the duration of your qualification as long as you adhere to the academic progression criteria. This means if you’re passing your modules and keeping to the rules and guidelines as stipulated in the NBA, your funding will remain active.
However, suppose you are yet to be approved for funding from NSFAS. In that case, you can reapply when the application process reopens if you are now eligible for funding.
Applying to the National Student Finance Scheme isn’t a daunting or complicated process. If you are still unsure about any part of the process, why not check the NSFAS FAQ section to find the answers to questions you may have.