Steps to Follow When Applying For NSFAS

By Devsh Jag •  Updated: 03/14/24 •  5 min read

Are you planning on pursuing tertiary education and looking to secure funding from NSFAS? If you answered yes, then this article is for you.

Applying for funding from NSFAS can seem arduous, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we are going to look at the different ways that students can apply for NSFAS funding and provide you with some additional need-to-know information to help you complete the application process painlessly as possible, such as:

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Let’s jump right in.

What are the steps to apply for NSFAS?

Before applying to NSFAS, first-time students are advised to have the following:

Once you have all of the above in hand, the steps involved in applying should be straightforward. Applying to NSFAS can be done in one of the following ways:

Online application:

  1. Visit www.nsfas.org.za and register on MyNSFAS.
  2. Click the “APPLY” button.
  3. Complete all the sections of information required.
  4. Upload ALL supporting documentation.
  5. “Submit” your application.

NSFAS application centres:

Students that are unable to access the internet to complete an online application can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency Center, Thusong Center, or NSFAS walk-in center, where they will receive in-person assistance from a qualified NSFAS representative.

Here’s what this method entails:

  1. Head to your closest walk-in center.
  2. A representative will provide you with an application form to complete and can also assist you with any additional questions you may have prior to completing the application.
  3. Use a black pen and complete the form in CAPITAL letters.
  4. Double-check the application to ensure you have not missed any information and signed in all the allocated spaces.
  5. Hand in your application form and supporting documentation to the NSFAS representative.
  6. Make sure that you receive a receipt card with a bar code attached.


Certain institutions also allow potential students an additional method to apply to NSFAS via their on-campus Financial Aid Office or computer lab. This process is almost exactly the same as if you were applying through a walk-in center; therefore, students should ensure that they have all the relevant documentation to hand when heading to their nearest institution.

How long do NSFAS steps take?

Applying for funding from NSFAS starts by creating a student profile on the NSFAS website. 

  1. Visit www.nsfas.org.za and register on MyNSFAS.
  2. Click the “APPLY” button.
  3. Complete all the sections of information required.
  4. Upload ALL supporting documentation.
  5. “Submit” your application.

Students that have all the relevant information and supporting documents to hand should be able to complete an application in under 30 minutes. 

Students should be aware that each application has to pass through at least nine stages before funding. Here are the stages:

At each stage, NSFAS will conduct various checks, such as verifying the student’s household income and confirming their acceptance with the institution they chose. 

NSFAS will also update the status of each application on the student’s MyNSFAS profile accordingly.

How do I apply for NSFAS manually?

NSFAS offers students that are unable to complete an online application the opportunity to submit a manual application to them. 

Students who want to apply manually should download the application from the official NSFAS website. Thereafter the student can print and complete the form before sending it back to NSFAS. 

Applications can be sent to NSFAS in the following ways:

  1. Post: NSFAS Loans and Bursaries Department, Private Bag X4, Plumstead, 7801
  2. Fax: 086 644 2822
  3. Scan and Email to: apply@nsfas.org.za

Students intending to use one of the manual methods of applying should ensure that they submit their applications as early as possible to allow for potential delays with the postage system etc. 

How long does it take for NSFAS application to be approved?

Providing that all the student’s information is complete, accurate, and submitted timeously, NSFAS advises that it takes up to 30 days to provide an outcome. However, through personal experience, I’d suggest allowing up to six weeks for a response. 

Each student application has to pass through no less than nine stages before funding. Therefore, students are urged to ensure that they provide all the relevant information in their initial application, as incomplete information will result in further delays. 

Conclusion

Applying for funding from NSFAS can seem like a complicated task, especially for a first-time applicant. However, students can simplify the process of applying by taking a moment to understand the process beforehand. The majority of delays in the application process are caused by missing or incorrect information provided by the applicant and can easily be overcome with a little preparation. Students who require further assistance can also contact the NSFAS contact center at 08000 67327 for more information. 

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