Get your NSFAS applications in early, students urged

Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande

Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. Picture: African News Agency (ANA).

Students who qualify for funding by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are urged to submit applications on time.

The application cycle has already opened and will close on November 30, said Dr Blade Nzimande, who strongly advised that applications should not leave until the end of the year.

“While great work for the 2021 application cycle is underway, I want to reassure our current beneficiaries that the department, along with NSFAS, is working tirelessly ensuring that the 2020 academic year is saved and concluded to usher in the new academic year, said Nzimande.

“We need to foster a culture of doing things on time and don’t leave them to the last hour. NSFAS has made arrangements to provide applications centres across the country, utilising facilities of generous stakeholders. These efforts are meant to bridge the gap in inequality”.

In order to qualify, a potential student must be a South African citizen. The family’s combined annual household income must be no more than R350 000.

With regards to students with disabilities, the combined annual household income must not be more than R600 000. This year, 70 000 students were funded (248 242 in TVET colleges and 481 339 at universities).

“This is a 20% increase from the previous year when we compared registration data received in the same period 2019 vs 2020,” says Nzimande.

The statement reads: “The applications for funding for 2021 will happen online on the myNSFAS portal. New applicants need a copy of their ID or birth certificate to register and create a profile on the myNSFAS portal.

Applicants with existing accounts need to log into their accounts, you’re only allowed to create one profile. The applicant will be required to give consent for personal information verification with NSFAS third parties.

An applicant will not proceed to create a profile without giving this consent. This feature allows NSFAS to conduct a three-step verification process with the Department of Home Affairs where an ID number will be linked to the name and surname of the applicant, and parent details.”

Supporting documents need to be submitted with the application process:

  • Your ID;
  • Parent or guardian’s proof of income; and
  • Parent or guardian’s ID
    National Youth Development Agency centres will be available from September 1 to help applicants.

A DHET bursary provides cover for the following:

  • Registration fee
  • Tuition fee
  • Subsidised book allowances
  • Prescribed learning materials (up to a certain amount, set by NSFAS)
  • Subsidised accommodation (up to a certain amount, set by NSFAS)
  • Subsidised meal allowances