Will NSFAS Fund My Degree If I Have A Higher Certificate Already?


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme aims to grant access to higher education through a NSFAS bursary or a NSFAS loan. One question that has popped up is: will NSFAS fund me if I received a Higher Certificate and want to pursue a degree?


NSFAS bursaries and loans have empowered countless students to pursue further education and attain tertiary qualifications, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This article looks at if NSFAS will support me if I've completed a Higher Certificate and aim to embark on a degree program?

NSFAS funding is accessible to students intending to enrol in one of South Africa's 26 public universities or 50 TVET Colleges.

Concerning the question at hand, it's essential to refer to NSFAS's Academic Pathways. Higher Certificates serve as a stepping stone to advanced studies, including diploma and degree programs.

The sole approved University progression pathway extends from a certificate qualification to an undergraduate qualification. NSFAS exclusively funds students pursuing their initial certificate or undergraduate qualification.

Thus, indeed, NSFAS will provide funding for individuals holding a Higher Certificate who aspire to pursue a degree.

Undergraduate qualifications eligible for NSFAS funding encompass Advanced Certificates, Diplomas, and National First Degrees.

NSFAS has specific requirements

  • Successful completion of Grade 9 to 12 for TVET college funding, and Grade 12 for university or TVET college funding.
  • South African citizenship.
  • Eligibility for all SASSA grant recipients.
  • Household income ranging from R0 to R350,000 per annum for bursaries and from R350,001 to R600,000 for loans.
  • Enrollment or intention to enrol at a public higher education institution.

How to Apply for NSFAS

When you decide you want to make a NSFAS financial aid application you must have internet access to apply online. Before you apply online at NSFAS you will need to first create a myNSFAS account, which you can do by clicking here. Once your account is up and running you will follow the following steps.

  1. Click on the 'APPLY' tab and complete all provided sections.
  2. Provide your cellphone number and ID number.
  3. Upload necessary documents where applicable (document requirements may vary).
  4. Submit your application before the closing date.
  5. Alternatively, applicants can download the NSFAS app from the app store for submission.

    Suggested Article