Can You Reapply For Nsfas If You Have Been Rejected Before?


Rejection by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme can be devastating for prospective students. But does this mean you can't reapply? This is what the bursary scheme says about it.    


According to the bursary scheme, if you applied for funding in 2023 or in previous years and your application was not approved but you still required funding for 2024, you can still reapply if you meet the requirements.

Who Currently Qualifies For NSFAS

Applicants who currently qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding include the following: 

  • All South African citizens
  • All Sassa grant recipients qualifies for funding
  • Applicants whose combined household income is not more than R350 000 per annum
  • Person with disability: Combined household income must not be more than R600 000 per annum
  • Students who started studying before 2018 whose household income is not more than R122 000 per annum.

Who Does Not Qualify For NSFAS

  • Students who have completed a previous qualification.
  • Students with a combined household income of more than R350 000 per annum.
  • Students who have already applied, qualified and received funding. They are automatically funded for the duration of their studies provided they pass their modules and meet the academic requirements.

Additionally, as part of the recent changes at NSFAS, all continuing students, who were not First Time entering students in 2022, must at the very least pass the number of specified courses shown in the course pass rate table.

This requirement will take effect as of the 2023 academic year and will be assessed yearly according to the course rate table. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be allowed to appeal, subject to the appeal criteria as specified in this policy standard.

Is NSFAS A Loan Or A Bursary?

Before 2018 NSFAS was a loan and was paid back once the student graduated and got a job. After the Fees Must Fall protests across the country, the government responded by making the NSFAS scheme a full bursary, included tuition fees, accommodation fees and a living allowance.

From that date on students who receive NSFAS funding do not have to pay anything back.

Can Rejected NSFAS Applicants Reapply For Funding?

Yes, applicants who were rejected from receiving NSFAS bursaries can reapply for NSFAS.

NSFAS explained, “If you have applied for NSFAS in prior years and your application was not approved but you still need funding for 2024, you may apply again if you meet the funding criteria.”

Here’s How To Apply For NSFAS Bursary Funding

  •     Login into your myNsfas account
  •     Enter the information required by Nsfas
  •     Click on ‘Apply’
  •     Fill in the details that apply to you (fathers details and/or mothers details and/or guardians' details and/or spouse's details for married students) and Click Next once you have captured all the details
  •     Once you have completed all required fields and steps, you must upload the necessary documents,
  •     Once you have uploaded all the necessary documents, Click 'Next'
  •     Confirm that the details and the documents you provided are correct and click ‘submit’

Do You Have To Reapply Each Year Of Your Course?

Many students have raised questions on whether they need to reapply for NSFAS funding if they were approved for funding in the past.

According to NSFAS, students are funded for the duration of their studies granted that they pass their modules and meet the academic requirements. This means that they do not need to reapply for funding at the start of each academic year or when NSFAS applications open.

Only In These Cases Should You Reapply For NSFAS

  • If you are doing a certificate qualification and you are finishing that year, you will need to reapply for undergraduate funding.
  • If you currently studying at a TVET college and you want to study at university the next year, you should reapply and vice versa.
  • Students who de-register or drop out during an academic term and wish to resume their studies in future academic terms, must re-apply.

If the bursary scheme has rejected your application, you will get an opportunity to appeal the funding decision during the appeals window.  Students must lodge an appeal within 30 days of having been assessed as unsuccessful.

Who Is Eligible For NSFAS Bursaries?

To qualify for NSFAS bursaries, students who need the financial aid must come from homes where the combined household income does not exceed R350,000 per annum. Students who have a disability can have a combined household income not exceeding R600,000.

Students must be registered or intending to register in an approved course at a public university or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college. NSFAS bursaries can only go to South African citizens who meet the academic requirements and other eligibility criteria for their courses.