More Than 230 000 NSFAS Applications Rejected For 2024


With nearly two million NSFAS applications submitted annually, competition for these bursaries is tough. Unfortunately, thousands of deserving students receive rejection notices.


Disappointed by a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) rejection? You're not alone. Every year, hundreds of thousands of students applying for NSFAS bursaries are declined.

This NSFAS funding is a lifeline for countless students, offering comprehensive funding to bridge the gap. NSFAS offers an appeals process for students who believe their applications were incorrectly assessed.

They offer comprehensive bursaries and student loans to eligible students enrolled in approved programmes. This financial aid covers tuition and registration fees, along with various NSFAS allowances to support your studies.

However, with over 1.9 million applications submitted for the 2024 academic year according to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), competition is high. While 1.2 million applications were approved, that leaves roughly 230,669 students facing rejection notices from NSFAS.

Many students applying for NSFAS funding get rejected because their household income exceeds the threshold of R350,000 per year. This highlights the importance of checking your eligibility before applying. Another common reason is exceeding the N+Rule, which limits funding based on the number of times a student has previously registered for tertiary education.

Approximately 8.3% of unsuccessful applicants qualify to submit an NSFAS appeal. That translates to roughly 19,149 appeals accepted by NSFAS in 2024.

If your NSFAS application wasn't successful, you have the right to appeal the decision. You only have 30 days from the rejection notification to file your appeal.

How To Submit NSFAS Appeal

  1. Log into your “MyNSFAS" account on
  2. Click the 'Track Funding Progress' option
  3. Check the application progress tabs
  4. If your application status reflects an unsuccessful message, you may submit an appeal by clicking on the 'Submit Appeal Tab'
  5. Once you are on the 'Application Appeal' page, you can see the reason for your unsuccessful application status
  6. You are then able to choose the appeal reason
  7. Then upload certified supporting documents to support your reason
  8. Then click 'Submit Appeal'
  9. You may now track the progress of the appeal on your myNSFAS account. 

Students Can Apply For NSFAS Loans If Rejected For Bursaries

Exceed the NSFAS income threshold but still need funding? There's good news! You might be eligible for an NSFAS missing middle loan.

NSFAS allocated funding for 31,000 missing middle students for the 2024 academic year. The Scheme recently closed applications for their missing middle loan scheme, receiving a significant number of applications, 30,728 to be exact. 

This scheme is designed to bridge the gap for students from households exceeding the NSFAS bursary threshold (over R350,000 per year) but who still struggle to afford the rising costs of higher education.

Whether you're pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, you can apply for a missing middle loan. 70% of the loans are earmarked for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) qualifications. The remaining 30% will support students in social science fields.

If you were unsuccessful with a standard NSFAS bursary application due to income limitations,  explore the missing middle loan option.

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