NSFAS is a comprehensive funding scheme for tertiary students in South Africa from low-income households. Many people in South Africa would like access to tertiary studies but simply don’t have the means because they don’t have enough income or assets to cover the costs. That is where NSFAS comes in. The mission of NSFAS is to ensure fair access to tertiary studies for all South Africans that would like to pursue a degree or qualification. The scheme covers studies at most of the public universities, colleges, and TVET colleges of South Africa.
NSFAS started out as a loan-based scheme, but after 2018 it switched to a bursary-based scheme. This big change meant that recipients of funds post-2018 no longer need to pay back the money received once they procure employment after their studies. NSFAS funds a large number of students every year. In 2023 the scheme funded 906 000 applicants. However, many students may not know the status of their funding or application or may not know how to check. Fortunately, there are easy ways to check if you are funded or still funded by NSFAS.
How to Check if You Are Still Funded by NSFAS:
The easiest way for an applicant to see whether they have procured funding from NSFAS and whether or not their application was successful is to log into their profile. In order to apply for NSFAS funding, a student will need to create a profile and submit an application through the NSFAS website. The same website can then be used to check your funding status online. Here is how to go about it:
- The applicant needs to log into their profile on the myNSFAS student portal
- Submit the username and password that you have chosen
- Click the button that says “sign in”.
- Click on the button that says “track funding progress”.
The administration at NSFAS is excellent at keeping the student portal updated on a regular basis. It can even be updated daily, so applicants are encouraged to keep checking the progress of their funding on a regular basis. By doing so, they will be able to see the progress being made and be informed timeously regarding the status of their application.
Applicants also need to know that should their application be denied, refused, or unsuccessful; they can appeal the decision. Even though the initial application may be denied, it may not be final, and once an appeal is filed, the applicant is encouraged to continue monitoring the funding progress to see whether or not they may have been successful the second time.
What Your NSFAS Funding Status Means:
Applicants need to understand what the status of their funding tracker means once they have logged into the online student portal. Here is what the various stages mean:
Application Submitted: The application was successfully loaded on the NSFAS student portal system.
Filtering: Checks are undergone to discern whether the applicant is a returning student and/or has any existing qualifications or degrees.
Validation: Third-party checks are conducted with the Department of Home Affairs and SASSA.
Evaluation: Verification of any and all documents an applicant has submitted.
Funding Eligibility: The financial status of the applicant’s household is verified by NSFAS.
Awaiting Academic Results/Admission: Academic results are being checked by NSFAS, and the admission status of the chosen university or college will be monitored to ensure that all requirements are met. This step may take a while to complete due to the fact that the information needs to be sent from the educational institution in question.
Awaiting Registration: Data is received from the educational institution to ensure that NSFAS will be able to form a bursary agreement with them. This step may also take a while as the institution once again has to respond to NSFAS.
The Signing of Agreement: This step requires action on the applicant’s part as they will need to sign the agreement of the bursary in order for NSFAS to disburse the funds.
Payments: The allowances and funds are in the process of being disbursed either through the mobile wallet system of NSFAS or the educational institution itself. During this stage, students need to closely monitor the student portal of NSFAS to ensure that they receive their funds timeously. Updates may also be sent from NSFAS to the applicant regarding the status of their funds.
Can I Check My NSFAS Funding Status Using My ID Number?
Yes, on the myNSFAS page on their website, you can enter your name and surname as they appear on your identity document or card, along with your ID number. Or, you can simply use your ID number and the password that you have created on the myNSFAS login page. This will enable you to see your student portal and track the status of your funding.
How Many Years Will NSFAS Fund Me?
An applicant that is successful will be funded by NSFAS for a maximum of five years. Therefore, if a student takes too long to complete their studies, they may find that they will need to pay for the remainder of their course themselves. However, most undergraduate courses and degrees should not take more than five years to complete if the student in question is diligent and passes all their course materials.
Does NSFAS Funding Expire?
No. The funds received by any student from NSFAS will remain in their NSFAS wallet for their use. If the student in question does not withdraw all the available funds, the remaining funds will be added to their cash balance on the NSFAS system and will remain available to them for use.
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