Requirements for University Students to Keep Funding By NSFAS


NSFAS offers extensive funding, along with NSFAS allowances, to deserving students in South Africa. The following are the academic criteria that university students must meet to continue receiving funding.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has facilitated the attainment of tertiary education qualifications for over five million students since its inception. This accomplishment is attributed to their provision of comprehensive funding, designed to encompass all expenses related to pursuing a degree.

NSFAS bursaries extend beyond covering just tuition and registration fees; they also encompass various allowances for students. These NSFAS allowances comprise accommodation, meal, personal care, and, in certain instances, a transport allowance.

To qualify for a NSFAS bursary or a NSFAS missing middle loan, all applicants must satisfy specific eligibility criteria. These include South African citizenship, enrollment in an approved qualification, and meeting the NSFAS household income threshold. For able-bodied students, the income threshold is set at R350,000, while for students with disabilities, it is R600,000.


Although you only need to apply for NSFAS once, the financial aid scheme conducts ongoing assessments to determine if you will receive funding throughout the entirety of your qualification. To remain eligible for NSFAS funding, you must meet both financial and academic criteria.

Academic Requirements University Students Need To Stay Funded

The evaluation of academic progression relies on the percentage of course credits completed within an academic year, with both institutions and NSFAS gradually modifying these criteria.

As of 2024, Continuing and First-Time Entering (FTEN) university students must maintain a course credit pass rate of 50% to retain NSFAS funding. Furthermore, to secure funding for the subsequent academic year, these students are required to achieve a course credit pass rate of 60% by the conclusion of the current academic year.

It's important to note that students must adhere to the N+Rule for the university and not exceed the specified limit.

Academic Progression 

NSFAS emphasizes that only progression pathways approved by NSFAS will be funded and put into effect.

In the context of university students, the sole endorsed progression pathway is from a qualification classified as a certificate to one defined as an undergraduate qualification.

It is crucial to note that NSFAS exclusively provides funding for students pursuing their initial certificate or undergraduate qualification.

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    Is NSFAS A Bursary Or Loan?

    Submitted by Sakinah Samuels on Mon, 26/02/2024 - 15:38
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    When applying to tertiary institutions, there is always a concern about how you will pay the tuition. This is when you may come across NSFAS, though there is still some confusion over whether or not NSFAS is a bursary or a loan.