How Much Does NSFAS Pay University Students?

By Klenam JU •  Updated: 03/13/24 •  4 min read

For university students in South Africa interested in seeking financial support from the scheme, one of the important questions relates to the monetary worth of financial support accessible through the scheme. In this article, we will be looking at how much does NSFAS pay university students with other pertinent issues.

How much do university students get from NSFAS?

University students receive support from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, in the form of allowances disbursed monthly upon approval of financial support application. A comprehensive schedule of allowances is illustrated below:

Living allowance

Travel allowance

Study materials

Incidental Allowance

Amount per month – 241

Amount per annum – 2900

Accommodation

A host of factors determines the amount received for accommodation. These factors include the student’s institution, location, and type of housing unit. For instance, students enrolled for studies at Stellenbosch University can expect to receive a maximum rate of 5970 South Africa Rand. This rate, however, applies to students living in private housing units. 

These allowances totaled around 34,250 South African Rand per annum.

How much does NSFAS give university students per month in 2024?

University students typically receive the following monthly allowances from the NSFAS:

With the inclusion of accommodation allowance, the financial worth of financial support received from the NSFAS every month can total up to 8,519 South Africa Rand.

How much is the NSFAS allowance for university students per year?

Students enrolled at an accredited public university in South Africa can expect to receive up to 34,250 South Africa Rand from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme in allowances. These allowances cover personal maintenance, transportation, study materials, and housing. However, these allowances are not automatically guaranteed by being a student and must be applied for. Applications for NSFAS funding are typically made at the scheme’s website, www.nsfas.org.za. Students can lodge their applications using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Alternatively, applications can also be submitted to the NSFAS through a National Youth Development (NYDA) or Thursong Centre location.

Students enrolled for studies at private universities are excluded from accessing financial support from the NSFAS. However, before applying, students must ensure that they satisfy the eligibility requirements stipulated by the scheme. Such requirements mandate that applicants have excellent academic records, hold South African citizenship, and can demonstrate financial need as well.

What does NSFAS cover for university students?

Allowances provided by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, cover a number of expenses and financial obligations incurred in the course of studies at a public South African university. Expenses covered by these allowances include the following:

Expenses Tuition and registration fees: As a form of financial aid scheme, the NSFAS facilitates the ability of economically disadvantaged and less privileged students in public South African universities to cover tuition and registration fees.

Accommodation: Allowances cover or offer support for housing costs for students whose aid applications are approved. The rate of allowance received is contingent on a host of factors, including where the student is enrolled for studies, where the student lives, and the type of housing, whether private or public. Students who stay in peri-urban, urban and rural areas have their allowances calculated at different rates. These rates typically do not exceed 2000 South Africa Rand or go below 1312 South Africa Rand. Furthermore, students who reside in university housing units cannot receive the same allowance as those living in private residences. Stellenbosch University students who utilise private accommodation, for instance, can receive up to 5970 South Africa Rand monthly as an allowance from NSFAS.

Living allowance: The living allowance covers personal maintenance and everyday living needs, such as toiletries. This support is provided at the rate of 1500 South African Rand per month.

Travel allowance: Under this allowance, students are guaranteed 625 South Africa Rand per month to take care of the costs of transiting between various locations for study-related purposes.

The NSFAS also offers additional support to students in the form of allowances for study materials and incidental allowance paid at the respective monthly rates of 433 and 241 South Africa Rand. Certain types of packages offered by the NSFAS may offer support for additional items not captured in this discussion.

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