NSFAS Allowances For February Paid To Students



In a departure from its standard procedure, NSFAS has confirmed that institutions will take on the responsibility of disbursing student allowances at the beginning of 2024. Here's an update on the situation at universities.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has verified that almost all of South Africa’s 26 universities have successfully distributed NSFAS allowances to students. Only one institution has yet to pay February 2024 NSFAS allowances.

NSFAS offers comprehensive funding to deserving students enrolled in approved courses at universities in South Africa. This funding covers not only tuition and registration fees but also various allowances to assist students with their study-related expenses.

In 2023, NSFAS introduced the Direct NSFAS allowance payment system, transferring the responsibility of paying NSFAS allowances to students from universities to private companies.

Despite some concerns, this system is set to continue at institutions in 2024. However, NSFAS deviated from using this payment system at the start of the 2024 academic year.

NSFAS announced that universities would oversee the payment of allowances for February and March 2024, encompassing various allowances such as those for books, accommodation, transport, food, and personal care.

Twenty-five (25), out of twenty-six (26) universities paid the February allowances as per their commitment dates. The allowances paid include the book, accommodation, transport, food and personal care allowances.

NSFAS thanks student representatives and institutions for their cooperation at the beginning of the 2024 academic year. 

NSFAS is grateful for the cooperation from all the universities and the Student Representative Councils (SRCs), who ensured that the payment of the February allowances was implemented seamlessly. All the universities will also be handling the payment of the March allowance

Why Unisa Did Not Pay Allowances

The University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa’s largest university, is the only institution yet to disburse allowances to students. NSFAS stated that the institution is currently determining which allowances students should receive based on the number of modules registered.

UNISA utilises the Open Distance e-learning method of teaching, classifying it as a distance learning institution. Consequently, NSFAS allowances received by UNISA students differ from those of other institutions, as students studying from home do not require accommodation or travel allowances.

NSFAS Allowances Going Forward

NSFAS has requested universities to allow direct payment service providers to onboard students while continuing with the payment process.

Institutions are reminded to allow direct payment service providers to conduct the process of onboarding students whilst they continue with payments.

The direct payments of allowances for the 2024 academic year will commence in April 2024, with universities administering payments for only two months (February and March), as the third allowances will be made through the direct payment platform.

No exceptions or deviations will be allowed. 

March will mark the conclusion of institutions' responsibility for paying 2024 NSFAS allowances to students. Universities are reminded that direct payments of allowances for the 2024 academic year will commence in April 2024.

Universities are also reminded that direct payments of allowance for the 2024 academic year will commence in April 2024.

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