The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government bursary that provides financial aid to disadvantaged students who plan on studying at South African public universities or TVET colleges.
Returning students who weren't funded by NSFAS can also apply for NSFAS funding.
NSFAS has a funding criteria that students need to adhere to in order to qualify for funding, the same goes for returning students.
Currently, the requirements for NSFAS funding are as follows:
- Must be a South African Citizen
- Sassa Grant Recipients qualify immediately
- Combined household income of R350 000 or less per annum
- If you are living with a disability, you need to have a combined household income of R600 000 or less per annum
If you are a returning student from 2018 and you meet pre-2018 academic and financial requirements, you will still be considered. Students who started studying before 2018 are required to have a household income that does not exceed R122 000 per year.
The NSFAS bursary is disbursed through allowances which students can access to pay for registration, tuition, transport, living expenses and learning materials.
The allowances are different for Universities and TVET Colleges.
- Accommodation: As per the actual costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation must not exceed costs for university residence)
- Transport (up to 40 km from institution): R7 500 per annum
- Living allowance: R15, 000 per annum
- Book allowance: R5200 per annum
- Incidental/personal care allowance: R2900 per annum for students in catered residences
TVET College allowances
- Accommodation in an urban area: R24,000 per annum
- Accommodation in an peri-urban area: R18,900 per annum
- Accommodation in an rural area: R15,750 per annum
- Transport (up to 40 km from institution): R7,350 per annum
- Transport: R7000 per annum
- Incidental/personal care allowance: R2900 per annum
Returning students who have previously completed a qualification cannot apply for NSFAS funding as NSFAS funding is for students who are aiming to obtain their first tertiary qualification.