What Is NSFAS DHET Grant

By Klenam JU •  Updated: 02/11/24 •  6 min read

A lack of financial means is one of the most common reasons for millions of promising young South Africans not pursuing tertiary education every year. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a bursary scheme that was created with the aim of providing students from poor and working-class homes with fully subsidized free higher education.

In this article, we will discuss one of the most sought-after bursaries among funding hopefuls – the Department of Higher Education and Training Bursary (DHET) scheme – as well as answer some of the common questions that students have about this bursary, such as:

Read on for more information.

What Is DHET Bursary

On 16th December 2017, former president, Jacob Zuma, made a crucial announcement relating to subsidized education. He announced that the South African government would phase in fully subsidized free higher education and training for poor and working-class South African students.

The funding was expected to be phased in over a 5-year period, starting in 2018. This resulted in the establishment of the DHET Bursary Scheme. This scheme makes funding available to students who are currently studying or wish to study toward an undergraduate qualification through a TVET college or public university.

Applicants are required to meet the following criteria:

What Does DHET Grant Mean

Prior to 2018, the NSFAS funding scheme worked slightly differently. While the scheme would fully fund students’ educational requirements, they were required to pay a portion of the funds back once they graduated.

 A DHET grant is a special subsection of the DHET bursary. These grants are a type of financial support awarded to qualifying students subject to a funding cap. The funding does not have to be repaid and has no service conditions attached either.

DHET grants do not require any special application process, as all students that apply for a DHET bursary will automatically be considered if they qualify for it.

The main difference between the grant is that it is only awarded to students on the N+2 criteria and to those that were registered at a public university prior to 2018.

Here is a more in-depth explanation of the N+ rule:

N+ Rule (N+1 and N+2): The term N represents the minimum regulation time that universities specify for a program of study funded by NSFAS. Typically, academic programs offered by universities are either N=3 or N=4.

N+1 refers to first-time entry students (FTEN) that registered for the first time after December 2017. N+2 refers to students that registered for the first time before January 2018.

Students that transfer between universities must still have the number of years that they were already registered for counted as part of their N.

How Do I Apply For a DHET Bursary

Applying for a DHET bursary is done in the same way as you would for any other NSFAS bursary and can be done in one of two 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 centre, 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 centre
  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 that you have not missed any information and that you’ve 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

What Does DHET Bursary Cover

Depending on the institution that the student intends to attend, the DHET bursary may cover different items. Here’s a basic guideline:

University Students (excluding UNISA)

TVET Students

UNISA students

UNISA works differently from most universities; therefore, its students receive a different type of cover. UNISA students receive:

Conclusion

Students that intend to apply for any type of bursary with NSFAS and/ or DHET should start preparing their application as early as possible. All bursaries typically require a number of supporting documents that need to be certified and submitted upon application. Neglecting to do so may create delays and, in some instances, may even result in the application being declined. Applications for 2024 are scheduled to open on 2nd November 2022 and will close on 21st January 2024.

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