How Much Are 2024 NSFAS Allowances For University Students?


The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, has disclosed the 2024 NSFAS allowance amounts, indicating that there will be an increase in NSFAS allowances.


As an integral component of the bursary provided by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), students not only receive coverage for tuition fees but also qualify for allowances from NSFAS encompassing meals, accommodation, transport, and learning materials.

The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, disclosed the specific amounts for the 2024 NSFAS allowances during his recent press briefing.

NSFAS Allowances For 2024

Students are eligible for either an accommodation allowance or a travel allowance, but not both. This determination is based on whether the student is studying from their residence or not, as well as the distance between their residence and the educational institution.

University Students

  • Living Allowance
    • R16 500 per year (R3045 personal care allowance + 13 455 meal allowance)
  • Accommodation allowance
    • Institution owned or leased accommodation and private accommodation allowance in metro areas will be capped at R50 000 per annum. Accommodation in other areas will be capped at R41 000 per annum
    • Institution-catered accommodation will have their accommodation allowances capped at R66 500 in metro areas and R57 500 in all other areas per annum.
    • Institutions in non-metro areas can request that NSFAS review these caps in exceptional circumstances.
  • Travel allowance 
    • Students who make their own accommodation arrangements or live with relatives won’t qualify for an accommodation allowance but would then qualify for a NSFAS travel allowance, up to a maximum of R7 875 per annum
  • Learning material allowance
    • All university students qualify for a learning material allowance which is set at a maximum of R5 460. This is a once-off payment at the beginning of the academic year for the purchase of books and devices.

Distance Learning Students

The NSFAS allowances for distance learning students, including those at Unisa, are contingent on the number of modules they register for, with a maximum allowance of R5,460. For students with a full-time course credit load, there is an additional qualification for a personal care allowance amounting to R3,045 per annum.

To be eligible for this allowance, students must have 120 course credits within one year.

Students with disabilities

  • Assistive device allowance
    • Students who are living with disabilities receive an assistive device allowance which is R50 000 once-off with students receiving NSFAS funding for repairs and maintenance to the value of R2 000 per year.

Students with disabilities do not receive automatic qualification for the allowance covering assistive devices, as well as the associated repairs and maintenance costs. Approval for these allowances is contingent upon the successful application by the student and meeting all the conditions and criteria stipulated in the policy standard.

When NSFAS Allowances Will Be Paid For 2024

Nzimande announced that on 31 January, R4.2 billion in upfront payments will be disbursed to universities and TVET Colleges for the 2024 academic year. Of this amount, R1 billion will be allocated to TVET Colleges, and the remaining R3.2 billion will go to universities.

These upfront payments will encompass both registration fees and initial payments.

For January, NSFAS allowance payments will be made monthly with the Department saying, "monthly payments will be done at the end of each month".

As for February and March, payments will be made differently. Instead of monthly, students will receive bi-weekly payments.

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