What Does Awaiting Documentation Mean on NSFAS?

By Trev Gami •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

If you come from a poor background or belong to a working class with limited financial resources in South Africa, you can apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding to pursue your higher education. NSFAS provides financial assistance to all deserving students who want to study at public universities or TVET colleges. However, there are certain things you should know before applying for funding. Read on to learn the requirements for one to get aid. 

What Does Awaiting Documentation Mean on NSFAS?

NSFAS requires all applicants to provide specific documents to be considered for financial aid. Some of the documentation you should provide include ID, proof of income, academic certificates, disability annexure, and consent form. Once you submit your application, it goes through a screening process, which can take several weeks. 

When your application status reads “awaiting documentation,” it means that NSFAS is waiting for data from your chosen institution to help them create the funding agreement. Students often find themselves stuck at this step for a while, but there is no reason to panic as long as your documents are in order. NSFAS cannot process your application if they have not yet received all the information from your university or college.  

How Long Does It Take for NSFAS to Verify Documents?

NSFAS usually takes about six weeks to verify documents, which can take longer in some instances. NSFAS sends your identity document to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for verification, which takes some time to complete. The accuracy of the information you provide also helps speed up the process. Ensure you provide information that matches your ID because any discrepancy can cause delays.

NSFAS often receives hundreds of thousands of bursary applications every year, and this affects the verification process. For instance, NSFAS received more than 750 000 applications in 2021/22. All applications are verified, and this can affect the outcome. 

In some cases, NSFAS can request additional information to approve your application for financial aid. It is vital to check the status of your application regularly to ensure that you don’t miss anything. 

How Will I Know When NSFAS Has Approved My Application?

NSFAS communicates the application results to all applicants before the beginning of the academic year via email, SMS, and myNSFAS account. All applicants are required to provide details about their preferred channels of communication where they can receive their results when the applications are processed. 

Moreover, an applicant is required to create an account on the NSFAS portal where they can check the status of their application. You can check your application by following the simple steps below:  

You will be able to see if your application was successful or not by following these three steps. Applicants are advised to be patient since it can take some time for applications to be processed. 

Can NSFAS Fund You Without Submitting Documents?

NSFAS provides financial assistance to South Africans who come from poor backgrounds. Therefore, correct supporting documents are crucial since they help NSFAS officials determine the credibility of the applicants. To prevent cases of fraud and ensure that only deserving students get funding, no application is approved without the necessary documents. 

To be eligible for NSFAS funding, all applicants must upload a copy of their ID document to the NSFAS portal. A certified copy of your passport or ID proves you are the applicant. Never provide amended or altered documents since they will be rejected. Be sure your name and date of birth are clear on the ID to increase your chances of getting funding. If you are required to submit documents belonging to third parties, seek consent from the individuals involved first. 

Other documents required to support your NSFAS application include the following: 

The easiest way to send your documents to NSFAS is to use your myNSFAS portal and follow the steps below.

If you encounter challenges in uploading your documents, check if they are in the right format. You must scan your documents and upload them as PDFs. Depending on your location, you can also visit the fees department at your preferred institution for assistance regarding the submission of supporting documents. Don’t send your documents via email or fax since these methods are not allowed. Your application will be rejected if you use them. 

Why Is My NSFAS Application Stuck on Awaiting Evaluation?

Your NSFAS can be stuck on “Awaiting Evaluation” status, but there is no reason to get worried. This means NSFAS is still verifying your documents. You will get the result once the process is over and your application has been approved. However, if your application is forever stuck at this stage, your application might have some missing documents. You can check your portal if anything is missing or contact NSFAS.

When you apply for NSFAS funding, make sure you provide all the required documents to increase your chances of getting the aid. Missing documentation can lead to delays in the processing of your application. Always remember that no application is approved without all the necessary documents. It is a good idea to visit your preferred institution for assistance if you experience problems in submitting your NSFAS application.    

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