Generally, accommodation has been a major challenge for many students pursuing tertiary education in South Africa. Looking at the increasing population of South Africa, there is going to be an increase in the tertiary student population. Moreover, education in South Africa is growing rapidly, looking at the policies and financial support set out for these students.
As part of tackling this issue, the national student financial aid scheme recognized this pending situation among students at the tertiary level.
NSFAS acknowledged the importance of student accommodation and offered support to students who may need it. This initiative was to ensure students have access to secure and safe accommodation while pursuing their various courses at the tertiary institution.
If you are a student who is looking to get accommodation through the nSFAS program, then this blog post will be helpful.
This blog post will inform you about the necessary details of NSFAS student accommodation, including its requirements, the accommodation allowance available for students, how to apply for accommodation with NSFAS, and other related issues.
NSFAS student accommodation requirements
The national student financial aid scheme does not only look at covering tuition fees for students. When you look at some of the missions and objectives of NSFAS, they aim to make education attractive, comfortable, and safe for students. Hence the need to support accommodation on campuses.
If you are struggling to get accommodation and pay for it, NSFAS has some good news for you. While this program may be open to all, it is important to know that there are certain requirements that must be met. These requirements draw the line on what NSFAS expects from students.
So what are the student accommodation requirements meted out by NSFAS? Here are some of the requirements for NSFAS student accommodation.
- If you are a student who lives 20km from your main campus or study campus, you are eligible to put in an application for NSFAS accommodation. NSFAS considers the distance of your sleeping place from your learning area. The funding institutions believe students should be comfortable and have a conducive method of commuting to school with less stress hence the need to be beyond the 20km. Once your details confirm your home is over 20km from your main study area, you can put be eligible for NSFAS accommodation.
- Students who face financial challenges are eligible to get NSFAS accommodation. Once your documents confirm your total income indicating you can not afford accommodation, NSFAS allows you to get accommodation close to campus.
- You must be a full-time student at a public university. As you may know, NSFAS does not fund students within private institutions and short courses. It is a requirement that students who wish to have access to NSFAS funding accommodation should be full-time students within a public university.
- Also, NSFAS considers students who are already registered with NSFAS. As part of the requirements, you must have applied to NSFAS and already received funding. Once your details are captured within the NFSAS system as eligible for funding, you are labelled to meet the student accommodation requirement.
- When it comes to the rental amount, NSFAS also has certain requirements that need to be met. The suggestion is that the rental fees for off-campus student housing should match the amount charged by the university for a comparable room. Additionally, it is important that the cost of the program does not exceed that of the university or TVET.
Moreover, there exists a regulation that pertains to accommodations situated at a distance greater than 5 kilometres from the institute. If that’s the situation, then the rental fee should cover the expense of the transportation.
How much does NSFAS pay for student accommodation?
NSFAS indeed does pay for accommodation for students. But how much is involved in this student accommodation? This is an important question students who struggle to pay for accommodation may want to know. Knowing you are not paying for it yourself, you may want to know if your payer considers a budget.
There are three things NSFAS considers when paying for students’ accommodation, which has to do with the environment.
For students who are within the urban area can get be paid at least R24,000 per annum for accommodation, students within the peri-urban area can get around R 18,500 per annum for accommodation, while students within the rural area can pay around R16,000 per annum
How do I apply for accommodation with NSFAS?
Are you looking to apply for accommodation with NSFAS? Here are the key steps to take.
- Login into your NSFAS account
- Navigate to accommodation to look for the available accommodation
- NSFAS has integrated a new platform for homeowners to upload their accommodation images and details.
- This will be a guide and give you details on all the accommodation
- Proceed to select the kind of accommodation you want.
- Once its available, confirm your details and attach all necessary requirements.
- NSFAS will reach out to the owner and submit your details as the new tenant for that particular accommodation.
Students who may want to go the traditional way to secure NSFAS accommodation can use the steps below.
- Check the kind of accommodation you want and request all documents for the accommodation, including a lease or tenancy agreement from the homeowner.
- Confirm if the accommodation is considered an accredited one with NSFAS.
- Proceed to pick up the accommodation from the financial aid office within your institution.
- Fill out the form, and add the relevant documents, which include the lease agreement, the landlord’s details, your personal details, and proof of your income.
- Once approved, NSFAS will reach out to you based on the details submitted and make the necessary payment.
What is the cap for NSFAS accommodation?
To regulate funds and their distribution, there was a new policy to govern accommodation expenditure. NSFAS looks to provide enough funds for students to afford suitable accommodation. If you are planning to go for any luxurious accommodations, it will be in your best interest to know that NSFAS has a cap on its accommodation funding.
In 2023, NSFAS introduced an accommodation cap of R45,000 per annum. Although there are certain private and institutional accommodations that may exceed its cap, NSFAS has made it known to all students that the limit for NSFAS accommodations is pegged at R45,000 for the year.
How much is the NSFAS allowance for private accommodations?
As NSFAS continues to support students through their studies, there are other limitations to this funding. Students who wish to go for private accommodation are entitled to a certain amount from NSFAS.
If you are looking for accommodation, it is best to go for something that meets your requirements. There are instances where students who go for private accommodation may have to top up with their own money. Public institutions have advised students against this act and deemed it unreliable.
If you care to know about the NSFAS allowance for private accommodation, kindly note that the amount is R45,000 annually.
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