NSFAS exists to help disadvantaged and poor students pay for tertiary education at approved South African public programs, namely public universities and TVET colleges of higher learning. While it will only assist with education at certain facilities, and there are terms and conditions you will need to follow, it can be a valuable way to extend your education if you cannot access traditional forms of funding such as bank loans, scholarships, and other methods. Here’s how to apply for NSFAS.
Remember that there are eligibility criteria you need to meet. You must be a South African citizen, meet the academic criteria laid out by the institution for your program, and your total household income cannot exceed R350,000 for most students, rising to R600,000 for students with disabilities.
What is NSFAS?
The NSFAS bursary program started as a low-cost loan program to help disadvantaged students access funding for tertiary education at approved TVET higher education colleges and public universities. In 2019 it underwent some changes to its overall structure to instead offer itself as a full-ride bursary for disadvantaged, poor, and working-class students attending the same programs.
It is a government entity overseen by the Department of Higher Education and Training and runs governed by the NSFAS Act (Act 56 of 1999)
NSFAS: How to Apply
In order for you to apply for NSFAS, you first need to create a myNSFAS account on their website. We have outlined how to do this step-by-step below.
Once you have created your account and profile and added the initial information, you will proceed to the ‘apply’ tab to submit your full application.
The first set of data pertains to your parents. Enter your parents’ details (where relevant) and click next. If you are a married student, you will also be asked for your spouse’s details. If you do not have parents for any reason, you will be asked to submit your legal guardian’s details. If any of these fields are not relevant to you, simply click through them.
Once these details are confirmed, you will be asked to submit all relevant details for your course and upload supporting documents. Your final step will allow you to check all details are correct, and then you will reach the ‘submit’ screen. Once you are certain you have given them 100% of the requested details and documents, and you click submit, your submission will be successfully received, and you must wait for feedback.
What Do I Need to Apply for NSFAS in 2023?
In addition to your myNSFAS account and the details you will manually add there, you will also need the following:
- Your own email account and cellphone number
- Copies of your South African ID or birth certificate if you don’t have one.
- ID copies for your parents or guardian and your spouse, as applicable
- Proof of income for yourself and other household members, or a single year’s IRP5s for them. This criteria falls away if you receive a SASSA grant, but you will need to show proof of that instead.
- If you are a student with disabilities, you need to complete Disability Annexure A Form, which is available on the NSFAS website to download.
- If you have been designated a Vulnerable Child by the Department of Social Development, they will need to help you complete and then sign a Vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent Form, also available on their website.
Is NSFAS Open for 2023 Applications?
Yes, NSFAS is currently open for 2023 applications. To boost your chances of successful funding, you should start your application as soon as you can.
When Can I Apply for NSFAS for 2023?
You can apply for NSFAS funding for the 2023 year any time after 28th September 2023. Applications will close on 31st January 2024. We strongly advise applying as soon as you can. Remember, funding is limited, and you want to give yourself the best possible chance of receiving your portion of the available funding. Do not delay.
How Do I Apply for NSFAS Online in the 2023/2024 Academic Year?
Everyone applying for NSFAS funding will have to apply online for this period. Fortunately, it is a pretty simple process. If you are a brand new student, you will have to register online on myNSFAS. You may also need to re-register an account if you are partway through your studies and haven’t created one before.
Do this by going to www.nsfas.org.za, clicking the ‘myNSFAS’ option, and proceeding to ‘register’. You must tick the box which allows NSFAS to verify the information you provide.
Here you will need to enter the ID number from your South African ID document. You will also need your full name and surname, current email contact (which will be confirmed again) and cellphone number.
You will now create a secure password for the account. You should also upload a copy of your ID document. When everything is filled in, click the ‘register’ button. You will receive a one-time password on your email and cell number, which you used. Enter this within 24 hours and click submit to verify the account.
Once the account is active, click on the ‘apply’ tab and fill in the online application form. We have provided guidance on this above.
The vital first step to receiving funding through the NSFAS system is to apply for it properly, so take your time and make sure you fill in every field and provide all requested documents when you make your application. Good luck!
Is NSFAS Open For 2023?
If you have already missed the 2022 deadline, it is a good idea to submit your NSFAS application for 2023 early once they open.
Does NSFAS Student Have to Apply Every Year?
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