Starting university or college can be a daunting experience, with emotions often running high. What you don’t want is extra worries about paying for your studies, accommodation, books, and food.
So, you’ve done your research, found the university or college you want to attend, applied with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and finally got the go-ahead to start your higher education journey.
Here’s what you need to know about the NSFAS Allowance payments.
As a student approved for the NSFAS bursary, you will receive registration fees, tuition fees, and a number of other allowances.
On which date does the NSFAS pay the allowances?
NSFAS allowances are paid monthly. In the 2023 cycle, these are generally paid out in the first week of every month for 10 months. Just a note, the payment of allowances is not simultaneous for all students, so don’t get alarmed if your friend gets their allowance earlier than you.
The 2023 Cycle dates for payments are as follows:
Cycle 1 – All Campuses, Monday 28 February 2023
Cycle 2 – All Campuses, Monday 7 March 2023
Cycle 3 – All Campuses, Monday 4 April 2023
Cycle 4 – All Campuses, Monday 3 May 2023
Cycle 5 – All Campuses, Monday 6 June 2023
Cycle 6 – All Campuses, Monday 18 July 2023
Cycle 7 – All Campuses, Monday 1 August 2023
Cycle 8 – All Campuses, Monday 5 September 2023
Cycle 9 – All Campuses, Monday 3 October 2023
Cycle 10 – All Campuses, Monday 7 November 2023
How much is NSFAS 2023 allowance?
The amount differs slightly between college and university; let’s take a look.
TVET College Allowances:
- Accommodation in an urban area is R24 000 per year or R2 400 per month
- Accommodation in a peri-urban area is R18 900 per year or R1 892 per month.
- Accommodation in a rural area is R15 750 per year or R1 575 per month.
- R7,350 per year or R735 per month for transportation (up to 40 kilometers from the institution).
- Transport: R7000 per year or R700 per month.
- Personal care allowance: R2 900 per year or R290 per month.
- Accommodation: As per the actual costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation must not exceed costs for university residence).
- Transport (up to 40 km from the institution): R7 500 per year or R750 per month.
- Living allowance: R15 000 per year or R1 500 per month.
- Book allowances: R5 200 per year.
- Personal care allowance: R2900 per year or R290 per month for students in catered residences.
- Small expense allowance of R2900 per year for students who are registered for ten modules or more.
- Learning material allowance of R600 per module for the first four modules (or once-off R5200 for five to ten modules).
Is NSFAS Allowances Increasing In 2023?
Although there have been some messages going around about the NSFAS increasing the allowances and adding car allowances, these are all fake, and at this stage, the allowances for 2023 will be the same as 2022.
Can NSFAS Pay Some Students More Allowances?
The allowance differs depending on which tertiary institution you attend, as each institution has different registration fees. The distance you travel each day from your accommodation can influence your travel allowance, and your accommodation fees might differ; therefore, student allowances do differ.
How is my accommodation paid?
As long as your landlord is accredited with NSFAS as a partner to offer private accommodation, he will be paid directly, so you won’t have to draw cash to pay your rent. Check if your accommodation is accredited by visiting your university or TVET website.
The institution’s websites list the available accommodation available on campus or nearby that is NSFAS accredited. A landlord that is not accredited can put in an application to become a private accommodation with NSFAS using the online application form.
How does the NSFAS pay the allowances?
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocates funds to universities annually. The universities then distribute the allowances to all students whose funding has been approved.
Some universities rely on payment administrators such as intellimali to process payments and allocate allowances to eligible students, while others opt to allocate the funds to student bank accounts.
NSFAS Wallet – TVET only
If you are studying at a TVET institution, you will open a wallet with the NSFAS. Don’t forget; you need your own cell phone and a valid SIM card to register.
Once activated, your NSFAS wallet will allow you to withdraw cash or make a purchase by creating a NSFAS voucher and presenting it to any merchant registered by NSFAS. Checkers, Boxer, U-Save, and select Spar stores are the merchants used. Remember, these stores have a daily cash withdrawal limit of R200 – R1000 daily.
I know, right feels like they don’t trust you. The Good news is that NSFAS is introducing its new direct payment solution for student allowances through the NSFAS MasterCard. The NSFAS is hoping this will give students greater control over their money.
Not all students will have access to the MasterCard. However, students will be contacted individually and moved onto the platform when it launches at the end of September 2023. Eventually, the MasterCard will replace the NSFAS wallet.
NSFAS MasterCard beneficiaries will get:
- Access to value-added services.
- Value for money-negotiated rates
- Banking freedom
- Make online transactions and purchases
- Perform EFT transactions
- Tap to Pay functionality.
- Plus much more.
With all the NSFAS allowance information at your fingertips, let your journey begin. Remember Nelson Mandela’s wise words “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
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