What Is The Difference Between NSFAS & ISFAP

The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) recently opened applications for its new bursary cycle. The programme is aimed at providing financial relief to students, and is often compared to NSFAS.

Advertisement

 

The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) recently opened applications for its new bursary cycle. The programme is aimed at providing financial relief to students, and is often compared to NSFAS.

Despite the many comparisons, the ISFAP bursary is different to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Sifanele Biyela, Regional Project Manager at ISFAP, explained the difference between the two in an interview on the Careers Portal Youtube channel

Biyela said NSFAS is a government financial aid scheme, while ISFAP is a donor-funded foundation. The funding criteria is also different, as NSFAS provides funding to poor students while ISFAP caters to poor and missing middle students. 

Unlike NSFAS, which has a maximum household income of R350 000, ISFAP has a maximum household income of R600 000. This difference in maximum household income caters to ISFAP's target market of missing middle students. 

"Missing middle students would be students that are currently not poor enough to qualify for NSFAS funding but also cannot afford tertiary fees. Those would be families that fall within R350 000 per annum to R600 000 per annum household incomes. Students whose household incomes fall between there are called missing middle because with the financial scheme that the country currently had, they did not qualify for funding." Biyela explained.

While ISFAP aims to provide funding to students, there are some controls that are put in place to regulate the application process.

This is done by ensuring that students are not funded by both NSFAS and ISFAP. Successful applicants can only be funded by either of the bursaries, but not both at the same time. 

"The aim is to try and reach as many students as possible, and afford opportunities to as many students as possible. If we have instances where students are double-dipping, which is when a student has more than one funder, it then narrows the reach of the different programmes to students that could also use the opportunity of getting financial support" Biyela added. 

Click here to apply for the 2021 ISFAP bursary.

Article Category

NSFAS Articles

The wait is almost over, as applications for NSFAS funding will be opening soon. Minister Blade Nzimande held a media briefing on Thursday morning to reveal when students can start applying. 

Students who are funded by NSFAS qualify to receive allowances directly from the financial aid scheme. These allowances are kept in their NSFAS wallets. Here's how you can check your NSFAS wallet balance.

Boland College has opened applications for NSFAS appeals and applications. The TVET College has announced the period for application submissions. 

After closing due to the lockdown in 2020, NSFAS has officially reopened its walk-in centre. This means hopeful applicants, as well as current NSFAS bursary holders, can visit the centre for assistance.

If you are currently receiving funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), you might be wondering if you can apply for the R350 grant. 

AMP 365 with TC 728x90 slot1