The importance of NSFAS in South Africa is underscored by the share of beneficiaries it has in the academic fraternity.
Nearly a quarter of all students at both universities (25%) and TVET colleges (34%) study under the auspices of a bursary from NSFAS, and with enrolments into institutions of higher education have doubled since the 2000 academic year, from 441 504 undergraduate students to 785 351 undergraduate students in 2016.
And these figures are only projected to grow into the future as South Africa’s higher educational system tries to keep up with the growing number of matriculants and youth in the country.
As such, knowing when and how to apply for NSFAS can be a daunting task that can decide your future, which is why this article was written to help you find out when to apply for NSFAS 2023.
How do I apply for NSFAS 2023
To ensure that the NSFAS bursary scheme covers your prospective academic career for 2023 if your socioeconomic background sees you eligible for sponsorship, it is important to know how and where you can apply for a bursary in 2023.
To apply for a NSFAS bursary to further your studies in 2023, you’ll need access to the internet via a computer or a personal device such as your smartphone or iPad.
Once you have established a secure internet connection, you must head over to www.nsfas.org.za
Once on the website, click on the “myNSFAS” tab, which will give you the option to create an account on the website.
After creating your account on the NSFAS website, click on the “apply” tab. This will then give you the option to update your personal information and answer a number of questions for security purposes on the website.
Once you have successfully created your account and underwent the security measures in play on the website to ensure your identity, you will now be able to upload all of the required supporting documents in a digital format and click on the “submit button to complete the process.
Create myNSFAS account 2023
Having a myNSFAS account is vital to the application process for a bursary in a given academic year. Before applying for a bursary online, you must first have an equivalent account created through their online portal.
To create a myNSFAS account, simply head over to the NSFAS website at www.nsfas.org.za, and click on the myNSFAS tab with all your supporting documents in hand.
Click on the register option, which will commence the verification and validation of the information you have submitted.
You will then be prompted to submit your ID number and your name and surname, as they appear on your ID, alongside an active phone number and email address.
After this, you will have to upload your actual ID and click on the register option to finalize the process.
An OTP will then be sent to the phone number and email address you entered, which will be the final process of creating your myNSFAS account when submitted to the website.
Is NSFAS closed for 2023?
For NSFAS to meet its objectives and formulate a budget that is equal to the need for tertiary education from those who qualify amongst South Africa’s population, a set amount of time towards the end of the year is set aside to allow prospective students to register for NSFAS.
The application dates are designed to coincide with the end of the matriculant’s academic year, granting those who need the NSFAS bursary to further their education the opportunity to receive funding in time for the following year’s academic window.
As such, applications for NSFAS are still open for the 2023 academic year for university and TVET colleges, with many theorizing that official applications are likely to open on the 2nd of November this year and close on the 21st of January next year. However, there has been no official announcement from NSFAS officials as of the time of writing.
When can I apply for NSFAS?
As of the date of writing, there is yet to be an official announcement from government officials working within the department of higher education concerning an official date for NSFAS applications, but inferring from the previous year’s application dates, educated guesses can be made.
On average, for the past few years, NSFAS applications for universities have opened on the 2nd of November and closed on the 7th of January the following year. Assuming that the 2023 applications will follow this trend would be a safe bet.
NSFAS 2023 closing date
If you want to be funded by NSFAS for the 2023 academic year, you must know the closing dates for applications, as being even a day late from the prescribed closing date will mean you will have to wait for the next academic year to pursue funding for your chosen course.
Although the official dates have yet to be released for 2023, it will most likely be on the 7th of January next year. However, applying as early as possible is advised to increase your chances of being accepted by the bursary scheme.
NSFAS 2023 opening date
With word of an official registration date from NSFAS yet to be announced by department officials or by the minister of higher education, Dr. Blade Nzimande, looking back on the application dates of the previous year may give us an accurate idea of what to expect this year.
The opening date for NSFAS applications in 2023 was on the 7th of November 2023. During this period, NSFAS received 906 429 applications, with 691 432 of those applicants having been approved for funding during the 2023 academic year.
With the total budgetary allocation towards NSFAS bursaries amounting to well over R47 billion was disbursed to 26 public universities and 50 TVET colleges.
NSFAS 2023 closing date
To ensure the operational capacity and continuity of NSFAS bursaries, the closing date for applications tends to coincide with the beginning of the academic year, with some talk from the minister of higher education, Dr. Blade Nzimande, to begin the rollout of payments to NSFAS beneficiaries at the beginning of the year.
The closing date for 2023 bursaries was the 2nd of January 2023. However, the minister of higher education has noted that the disbursement of funds to students in a timely manner remains a problem that he hopes to solve in the future.
To address this issue, all qualifying institutions of higher learning have been incentivized to finalize the submission of their registration data to NSFAS to ensure no delays in processing transfers.
With most qualifying institutions heeding the call, the rollout and payment of bursaries in the future seem set to improve.
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