How Do You Know if NSFAS Has Paid Your Fees?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 03/16/24 •  5 min read

As a responsible student, you already know that ensuring your funding sources have paid your tuition fees is a critical part of the student experience. If you are funded by NSFAS, it will still be your responsibility to ensure that all forms are submitted annually and that the application is correctly processed and the funds received. Today we look at how to check if the institution has received your NSFAS funding and other related funding issues.

Does NSFAS Cover Tuition Fees?

NSFAS does cover tuition fees for eligible students in South Africa who are studying at public universities and TVET colleges. The exact amount of tuition fees covered by NSFAS may vary depending on the institution and program of study.

In addition to tuition fees, NSFAS may also cover other related costs such as accommodation, books, and other study materials. The amount of funding provided by NSFAS is based on the financial needs of the student and is subject to certain academic and financial eligibility criteria.

Students must apply for NSFAS funding each year of study, and the application process typically opens in August and closes in November. Students are encouraged to apply timeously to ensure that they are considered for funding and to have enough time to prepare for the academic year or make a plan if there is an issue with your NSFAS account.

How Do You Know if NSFAS has Paid Your Fees?

If you are a student who has applied for and received funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to cover your tuition fees, you can confirm if your fees have been paid by the following:

If you still have questions about the status of your funding, you can contact NSFAS directly through their website or call center for assistance. Remember that NSFAS payments are made directly to the institution, so you will not see the payment reflected in your personal bank account or financial statements. Additionally, it may take some time for payments to be processed and reflected in your student account, so it’s important to be patient and follow up if necessary. This is another good reason to start the process as soon as you can each year, to give you time to respond to any issues and allow for potential delays. NSFAS can be slow at popular times of year such as during registration season. 

How Much Does NSFAS Pay for School Fees?

NSFAS only covers undergraduate degree programs at recognised public universities and TVET colleges in South Africa. Tuition fees are paid in full for the program, provided it is an NSFAS-approved course. 

The amount NSFAS pays overall depends on a range of factors, including the type of qualification, the institution where the student is enrolled, the cost of tuition and accommodation, and the student’s financial needs.

In general, NSFAS will cover the full cost of tuition fees and accommodation expenses for students who meet their eligibility criteria and are enrolled in approved programs of study at public universities and TVET colleges. The exact amount of funding provided will depend on the specific financial circumstances of the student and the cost of their education.

NSFAS also provides additional financial assistance to eligible students in the form of allowances for textbooks, meals, and transport. These allowances are intended to help students cover the additional costs associated with attending tertiary education.

How Long Does it Take for NSFAS to Pay?

The time it takes for NSFAS to pay will vary according to the time of year, the student profile, when the application is submitted, and the institution. In general, the payment process will take several weeks but can take months to complete, especially during busy times of the year.

Once a student’s application for financial aid has been approved, NSFAS will communicate directly with the institution to arrange payment of the funds. They will verify the student’s enrolment status and ensure that all required documentation has been submitted.

After this initial verification process is complete, NSFAS will make payment directly to the institution on your behalf. The institution will then apply the funds to cover the student’s tuition and other eligible expenses, such as accommodation, textbooks, and transport.

The payment process may be delayed due to factors such as incomplete documentation, errors in the application, or delays in the approval process. To avoid these delays, ensure that all required documentation is submitted accurately and on time, and remember to follow up regularly with your institution’s financial aid office and NSFAS to track the progress of your application and payment. Most of this can be done electronically from the My NSFAS portal.

It is your responsibility to ensure that NSFAS has paid the money to your tertiary education institution, so it is important to stay on top of this matter. Luckily it’s easy to do online.

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