What NSFAS Allowances Do Distance TVET Students Get?



Millions of South African students rely on the NSFAS to achieve their educational goals. Here's how funding works for TVET College distance learning students. 


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has provides comprehensive bursaries and student loans to deserving students enrolled in approved courses at public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges


NSFAS Allowances for Distance TVET Students

NSFAS funding typically covers a wider range of expenses  compared to what distance TVET students receive. This includes tuition and registration fees, as well as various allowances to support living costs on campus. These allowances might include:

  • Living allowance: Helps students cover accommodation costs if they reside far from their university or TVET College.
  • Transport allowance: Provides financial assistance for students living close to campus who commute daily.
  • Learning material allowance: Supports students with the cost of textbooks and other learning materials.

Why the Difference in Allowances for Distance Learners?

Distance TVET College students receive a smaller funding package because their learning format differs from traditional on-campus programs.  NSFAS recognises that distance learning students typically don't require a living allowance or a transport allowance since they study primarily from home.

In place of these allowances, distance TVET students receive a personal care allowance of R3,045. This allowance is intended to cover miscellaneous expenses related to their studies, such as data costs for online learning materials or printing course content.

Who Qualifies for the Distance Learning Allowance?

To be eligible for the personal care allowance as a distance learning student, you must be enrolled in the minimum number of subjects required by your TVET College. This typically means registering for at least 5 out of 7 subjects for an NC(v) qualification or 3 out of 4 subjects for a Report 191 qualification.

Important Note: General NSFAS Eligibility Still Applies

While the funding structure differs, distance TVET students must still meet the general NSFAS eligibility criteria. This includes:

  • South African citizenship
  • Enrollment in an approved TVET qualification program
  • Household income falling below the NSFAS income threshold (R350,000 for able-bodied students and R600,000 for students with disabilities)

Maintaining Your NSFAS Funding

Although you only submit a single NSFAS application, your eligibility for continued funding will be assessed throughout your studies. To maintain your NSFAS support, you'll need to meet both academic progress requirements and demonstrate continued financial need.

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