At the beginning of August, a whole month earlier than usual, NSFAS opened up their applications for those wanting to be funded by the financial aid scheme for 2021. Now, as we are five months into the application cycle, they have provided updates on the applications process.
When we reached the end of August, NSFAS had already received over 160 536 applications from students wanting to be funded in 2021. This is only a month after applications opened and they are set to close on 30 November 2020.
This means that NSFAS received around 5000 applications daily and around 6000 as August came to an end. As for how many applications were sent to the financial aid scheme as of 7 September, that total would come to 188 733.
A statement from NSFAS says, "NSFAS anticipates a high volume in applications leading up to the closing date due to the recent economic suffocation due to Covid-19". It's also important for TVET College students or those wanting to study at a TVET College to know that they can get funded by NSFAS and that it's not only for University students.
NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen, said NSFAS continuously provides easy access, reachability, and free access to information by forging and retaining relationships with stakeholder partnerships.
Applications are to be done online or at an application center of NSFAS partners such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The NYDA makes nine centres available to students across the country and will be open from 14 September, every Monday to Friday.
The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, along with Carolissen, have previously said that they want to reach more high school learners and are looking to communicate with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on this. Now, NSFAS has said, "DBE will link NSFAS with Provinces and District offices and provide database of National Teachers Centres which will assist with applications."
Those wishing to apply for funding from NSFAS are encouraged to apply for NSFAS and admission at universities or TVET colleges for 2021 at the same time.
NSFAS Contact Centre is opened Monday to Friday 08:30 to 17:00: