What Does It Mean When Your NSFAS Status Is Blank?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

A critical part of the NSFAS application process is keeping a vigilant eye on your status through the myNSFAS online portal (or other methods of your choice). You will see the status change regularly as your application is processed, and some statuses may require you to take further action. Many students are puzzled when they login to see no status at all-, so today, we are breaking down why a blank NSFAS status can occur and what to do about it. Luckily, it is not a major issue.

What Does It Mean When Your NSFAS Status Is Blank?

Don’t panic if your NSFAS status is blank! There are several common reasons this can happen:

We always advise that applicants stay on top of their application process and monitor it regularly through their website, so they can respond timeously to any issues. But a null status doesn’t mean you immediately need to take action- rather, monitor it for a few days and see if it updates along the way.

Why Is My NSFAS Status Not Working?

As with everything in the digital age, glitches can happen during your NSFAS application process. The most basic reason that your NSFAS status isn’t working is simply delays during the verification process, so it’s not uncommon to see no update to a status or even a null status. Remember that NSFAS processes a truly vast number of applications every year, as well as keeping up with the payments and disbursements for existing NSFAS recipients, so the process will take time. 

Consequences Of a Blank NSFAS Status:

Typically, there will be no adverse consequences to a blank NSFAS status. Remember that it usually indicates that your application is still being handled and hasn’t yet progressed to a different status or that there’s a temporary issue with the NSFAS system. Neither of these are problematic. However, if you notice that your NSFAS status stays ‘stuck’ on blank for a significant period of time, it is worth reaching out to them via their call center or email to see if there is an issue you can address. Just to reiterate, remember that a null status does not mean a rejection!

How Do You Know That NSFAS Has Rejected You?

The easiest way to know if NSFAS has rejected your application is to log on to your myNSFAS portal. Head directly to the ‘track funding process’ tab, and see what status has been applied to your account. Remember that a null or blank status is not a rejection and that many of the other statuses you could see relate either to the process of approval, or indicate that NSFAS requires something more from you. Only statuses that directly indicate rejection mean you can’t get funding- and you can still appeal the decision if you feel it is unfair. NSFAS will supply you with a reason if you are rejected, and you should receive formal electronic communication on the matter.

How Long Does It Take For NSFAS To Validate Your Application?

NSFAS aims for a turnaround time of 6 weeks on all applications it receives. However, it may take longer to validate your application. Much of the timeframe depends on how responsive external institutions (like your bank and, notably, the Department of Home Affairs) are to their verification enquiries about you, and they cannot control this. The time of year and volume of applicants they are currently handling will also have an effect- so apply as early as you can, to skip the rush and ensure they have plenty of time if there are validation delays or if you need to fix paperwork errors or upload further documents.

NSFAS statuses may look intimidating at first glance, but many of them are very instinctive to understand and will quickly tell you what action (if any) you need to take to ensure your application is successful. The blank status may be a bit shocking to see, but it rarely means that anything is wrong with your application, and even if there is an issue, it typically relates to missing documentation and not an outright rejection of your application. So stay calm, monitor the status, and reach out to NSFAS if you suspect a bigger issue. It will likely be very easy to resolve.

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