The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has become the most important bursary for South Africans - with more than 1 million students in higher education benefiting.
NSFAS funding is available to students at one of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges across the country, and covers the costs of tertiary education such as registration and tuition fees.
The bursary scheme administers funding on behalf of the national government to students in need of financial support. The goal is to help people from working class backgrounds to manage to pay the high costs of university and college fees and living expenses.
NSFAS funding is for South African citizens and you'll find full details on the official website at www.nsfas.org.za.
Students who wish to submit NSFAS applications for bursary funding are encouraged to create their own MyNSFAS account on the MyNSFAS portal at www.nsfas.org.za. You can fill out a NSFAS application form online, via the official NSFAS website.
Follow our step by step guide below:
How To Create A MyNsfas Portal Account:
- Visit the Nsfas website's homepage at www.nsfas.org.za
- Then click on MyNSFAS account on www nsfas org za and select ‘Create Account’
- Type in first names (as per ID number)
- Type in Surname (as per ID number)
- Type in your ID number (this will your username)
- Type in your own Email address
- Type in your own Cellphone number
- Accept terms and conditions Tick the box provided, to allow NSFAS to check the information provided (compulsory)
- Create a Password, (to protect your account)
It is important to note that only valid South African ID information will be accepted. An applicant’s South African ID number, Names and Surname have to be validated against the Department of Home Affairs database.
When students need to access their account and check their funding NSFAS status, they are required to log in first.
Here Are The Steps To Login To The MyNsfas Account:
- Go to the site, https://my.nsfas.org.za/
- Click on ‘myNsfas’ to login
- Input your username and password in the appropriate fields.
- Click on Sign In to login to the MyNsfas site.
Tips and Advice for Using the MyNSFAS Student Portal
Now that you're familiar with the basics, let's explore some tips to ensure you make the most of your experience on the NSFAS Student Portal at www.nsfas.org.za.
1. Keep your login credentials secure
Your NSFAS Student Portal account contains sensitive information, so it's crucial to keep your login credentials secure. Follow these tips:
- Choose a strong password that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Avoid sharing your NSFAS login details with anyone.
- Regularly update your password to maintain account security.
2. Set reminders for important dates
Missing important deadlines can have a significant impact on your financial aid. To stay on top of your obligations, consider setting reminders for the following dates:
- Application submission deadlines
- Document submission deadlines
- Funding disbursement dates
3. Explore additional resources and support
If you encounter any issues or have specific queries regarding the MyNSFAS Student Portal, don't hesitate to seek additional resources and support. Here are some avenues to explore:
- Visit the official NSFAS website at www nsfas org za for information.
- Contact the NSFAS toll-free helpline for personalized assistance or their social media accounts.
- Reach out to your educational institution's financial aid office for further guidance.
Contact NSFAS By Cellphone
Alternatively, students can also check their application status via WhatsApp on this number: +27 78 519 8006 or via this USSD code: *120*67327#
Prospective students qualify for a government bursary offered via the NSFAS if they come from a family with a combined household income of R350 000 per year or less.
The NSFAS bursary covers various expenses, amounts are indicated towards student accommodation, living allowance, transport and learning materials that are aligned with the approved latest DHET guidelines.
For more information on NSFAS or other funding opportunities visit the Bursaries Portal NSFAS section.
What Your NSFAS Application Status Means
What's the use of being told to check NSFAS application status if you don't understand what you see on the NSFAS application system? Here's what your NSFAS bursary application status means.
This NSFAS status means that your NSFAS bursary online application has been loaded onto the NSFAS system successfully.
If you see this on the NSFAS portal, it means the system is checking if you are a returning student and whether you have any previous qualifications.
NSFAS is conducting third-party checks with SASSA and the Department of Home Affairs.
NSFAS is verifying all the documents you have submitted with your NSFAS applications.
NSFAS is verifying your household financial status that was declared in your application.
Awaiting Academic Results/Admission
NSFAS is checking your academic results and your institution's admission status to ensure that you meet the requirements to be funded by NSFAS. Many find themselves staying on this step for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution.
NSFAS is receiving data from your institution to enable them to create a bursary agreement. This is another step students find themselves on for a while. This is because NSFAS has to wait for information from your chosen institution.
Signing Of Agreement
At this stage, you need to sign your bursary agreement so that NSFAS can disburse your allowances.
Your allowances are now being paid either through NSFAS mobile wallet system or through your institution. Students are advised to continue to monitor the myNSFAS portal for updates.
If you need help with your NSFAS application, you can visit your university or college's financial aid office.
What Happens When Your Status Is Funding Eligible?
If the status you see reads Funding Eligible this means simply that you are eligible for funding i.e. you will receive funding from NSFAS. However the way that NSFAS works is that the tuition fees (school fees) are not paid to you, they are paid to the university or TVET College directly.
If the status show Funding Eligible it means specifically that you are eligible for funding but a university or TVET college has not approved you for admission yet. This will normally be the case when you first apply at the start of the application season. If you haven't received your Matric results yet it is too soon for the university or TVET College to formally accept your application even though you are one of the eligible students.
So if you see the status Funding Eligible you can relax about paying for your degree or diploma studies - and turn all your attention to doing as well as possible in your exams as you don't have to worry about Nsfas funding. Once you get an admission offer from the college or university the financial aid scheme will approve your study funding.
Some people will be asked to submit supporting documentation along with a certified copy of their ID document if NSFAS doesn't have all the information you need. If you an submit the supporting documents as soon as possible they will be able to finalise the financial assistance a soon as possible.
Funding Eligible Without Admission
If your NSFAS application status reads 'Funding Eligible Without Admission', it means that your funding application has been approved but NSFAS is still waiting on confirmation from the University or College you applied to.
Your NSFAS application status will change to 'Funding With Admission Offer', which means that you have been funded and received admission confirmation. This could take a bit of time as there could be communication issues between NSFAS and the University or College.
The next step would be for NSFAS to pay the tuition fees directly to the university or TVET College.
FAQs about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
1. Who is eligible to apply for NSFAS funding?
- South African citizens from families with a combined household income that is not more than R350 000 per annum.
- Applicants enrolled at a public universities or TVET colleges.
- Students who do not already have a qualification higher than Matric.
2. How do I apply for NSFAS?
- Applications are submitted online through the NSFAS website during the specified application period.
- From 2024 the application process has been simplified so that most people do not have to submit documents when they apply. If NSFAS responds to ask for additional supporting documents these can be uploaded to the website.
3. What expenses does NSFAS cover?
- NSFAS funding may cover tuition fees, accommodation, learning materials, and living allowances, depending on the educational institution - university or TVET College.
4. Is NSFAS funding a loan or a bursary?
- Before 2017 NSFAS was a loan. Since 2018 NSFAS provides bursaries only and they do not have to be repaid.
5. What happens if I fail a course or change institutions?
- NSFAS has policies addressing academic progress and course changes.
- Failure to meet academic requirements may impact funding eligibility, and communication with NSFAS is crucial in such cases.
6. Can I appeal a decision if my NSFAS application is unsuccessful?
- Yes, applicants have the right to appeal NSFAS funding decisions.
- The appeals process is outlined, and applicants should follow the specified guidelines for a fair assessment by appealing on the MyNsfas website under your profile.
7. How are funds disbursed to students?
- Funds for tuition fees are typically paid directly to the academic institution.
- The money for allowances will be paid directly to the students. For 2024 four different fintech providers were contracted to run NSFAS Mastercard accounts for students. However late in the year NSFAS announced that the contract with the providers would be cancelled - but no dates were specified.
8. Can I use NSFAS funding for postgraduate studies?
- NSFAS primarily focuses on undergraduate funding so students who need funding for postgrad courses should consult the NRF - National Research Foundation.
9. Will NSFAS Fund Me If I Get Money From SASSA?
- The NSFAS requirements states that those who experience financial constraints which does not allow them to fund their own studies, such as those people who are SASSA recipients qualify for funding from NSFAS.
- This is because it indicates that financial assistance is needed.
- Receiving a grant from SASSA indicates to bursaries that the prospective bursary recipient is coming from a disadvantaged background. This is because the means test used by SASSA to determine whether a person’s income is low enough to qualify for grants, corresponds to the income requirements of bursaries.
- Therefore those who receive money from SASSA would be able to apply for and receive the NSFAS bursary. Some bursaries do require SASSA grant recipients to provide proof such as a grant letter however NSFAS only requires them to provide their SASSA details.
- Minister Blade Nzimande has said that applicants for NSFAS who have benefited from the Child Support Grant will be fast tracked to approval for NSFAS funding. They will also be able to apply for university or TVET College places without having to worry about paying application fees for those institutions.