How Long Does NSFAS Validation Take?

By Klenam JU •  Updated: 11/17/22 •  5 min read

Paperwork, whether in-person or online, can feel like a nightmare, and applying to NSFAS is no exception. Long lines, exhausting waits, and tricky communication can all be a part of the process. 

We’re here to simplify things as much as possible and answer some common questions about NSFAS validation

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Getting right into it, the first question we’ll be tackling is

How Long Does NSFAS Take To Verify?

When setting up your myNSFAS account, NSFAS will verify your identity immediately with active information from the Department of Home Affairs. If however, your verification fails, you’ll need to get hold of Home Affairs and find out if something is outdated and needs changing on your side or whether the problem is on their side and they need to authorise the information. As a general rule though, verification should be instant.  

What Does It Mean When NSFAS Says Validation?

When NSFAS uses the term “validation”, it refers to the process of confirming your personal details and income. There are two main departments that NSFAS needs to go through to get validation.

The Department of Home Affairs

Home Affairs will confirm the details you have submitted; ID, employment, and family-related. 

The South African Social Security Agency

If you’ve ever received any kind of funding from SASSA, you won’t need to prove your income; you’ll automatically be eligible for an NSFAS grant. NSFAS will need to confirm your funding history with SASSA if this is the case. 

How Do I Know If NSFAS Has Approved My Application?

If you want to check your application status, go to www.nsfas.org.za, log into your myNSFAS account using your ID number and password, and go to the “Track Funding Progress” option, and you’ll be given one of the following results:

Application Submitted

Fairly self-explanatory; your application has successfully been submitted.

Filtering

In this step, NSFAS categorises you either as a first-time or returning student and also checks previous qualifications and other relevant information.

Validation

As we covered earlier in the article, validation is when NSFAS confirms your details and income with outside parties such as Home Affairs and SASSA. 

Evaluation

This is when any documents that were submitted in your application are evaluated and authenticated. 

Funding Eligibility

The base financial requirement for funding eligibility is an annual household income not exceeding R350 000. For a person with a disability, the maximum combined household income is R600 000, and for someone who started studying before 2018, the upper limit is set at 122 000 per annum. During this step, NSFAS verifies that you meet the income requirements through third-party credit bureaus and financial organisations. 

Awaiting Academic Results And Admissions

At this point, NSFAS is checking that your grades and/or college admissions align with their requirements. This can take a little while as it is entirely dependent on how long your institution of choice takes to get the necessary information to NSFAS. 

Awaiting Registration

This means NSFAS is waiting for data from your chosen institution so that they can form a bursary agreement for you.

Signing Of Agreement

Yay, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Again, pretty self-explanatory; in this step, you’ll receive and sign your bursary agreement.

Payments

Success! At this point, you know you’ve made it, and payment is in transit either to your myNSFAS account or to your tertiary institution.

How Do I Know If My NSFAS Application Has Been Unsuccessful?

There’s one more possible result. If you’ve logged into your myNSFAS student portal account, click on “Track My Funding”, and your result says “Unsuccessful”, it means that you don’t currently qualify for a bursary. If you feel a mistake has been made and you meet the necessary qualifications, you can appeal the decision. The option isn’t available to all applicants, but if it’s available to you, it will show up as a tab called “Submit Appeal”. Click on it and follow the prompts.

Why Is NSFAS Not Responding?

NSFAS have been facing financial and managerial difficulty in recent years and are working to ensure consistent stability; they have not released any statements regarding a lack of communication.

What Does It Mean When NSFAS Says Funding Eligible Without Admission?

This means that you are financially eligible for funding but have not yet received confirmation of admission to a college or university. 

How Long Does It Take For NSFAS To Receive Registration Data From An Institution?

Due to each situation’s unique requirements, NSFAS can’t predict how long it will take to receive the necessary data. This is because each institute has a different process, a different data management system, and a different timeframe.

We hope you’ve found some helpful answers here and that this article has helped to make the process and the paperwork just a little bit less of a nightmare. 

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