Will I Still Get NSFAS If I Have A Partial Bursary?


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme supports access to higher education through NSFAS funding and loans for the missing middle. A common inquiry is whether a student with a partial bursary would be eligible for a NSFAS bursary.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocates funds to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who wish to pursue studies at public higher education institutions. NSFAS has specific qualifying criteria that are crucial to meet.

A significant question to explore is: If I already have a partial bursary from another source, will NSFAS still provide funding? Let's delve into this matter.

Can A Student With A Partial Bursary Get NSFAS?


As per the NSFAS Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Financial Aid, a student remains eligible for NSFAS funding even if they have a bursary that covers part of their study costs. The financial aid scheme clarifies:

If a student receives a partial bursary from another source, the student and the institution must advise NSFAS of the funding conditions of the new funder within 10 days of receiving the partial bursary,the NSFAS bursary must be reduced, and any excess refunded to NSFAS during the reconciliation process.


This implies that if a student has applied for and received approval for NSFAS funding in addition to another bursary, it is necessary for the student to inform NSFAS. NSFAS would then cover the remaining costs not covered by the other bursary, and any surplus NSFAS funding should be returned to the financial aid scheme.

The institution is required to notify NSFAS of any additional funding by 31 July. This ensures that NSFAS allocations can be adjusted according to the amounts received from other sources.

The cost coverage will follow a specific order: NSFAS will first cover tuition, followed by accommodation, and any remaining NSFAS allowances will be disbursed accordingly.

They [the students] cannot receive funding for the same qualification from more than one source without notifying the institution and NSFAS.

"If the funder has specified the allocation of the financial support granted, then the excess to be returned to NSFAS is calculated on this basis," said NSFAS.

In the event that a student loses a bursary from another funder and NSFAS applications are closed, the student should consult with their institution to apply for NSFAS funding. If the student meets NSFAS requirements and the loss of funding is unrelated to academic performance, NSFAS can then cover the full cost of their study.

NSFAS is willing to provide financial aid to these students on a 'top-up' basis if their bursary or scholarship does not fully cover their expenses. NSFAS will collaborate with universities to ensure effective funding for these students, preventing any duplication of financial support.

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