The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides bursaries to students from poor and working class backgrounds. The NSFAS bursary is probably the most popular bursary in South Africa with hundreds of thousands of people applying every year.
So, will NSFAS fund you if you decide to study towards another qualification?
NSFAS has said that students who have already completed a qualification and are looking to gain a second qualification do not qualify for NSFAS funding.
NSFAS funding has been introduced to help first time students who are entering the first year of a new programme. However, students who have a TVET qualification may apply for NSFAS if they would like to study towards a university qualification for the first time.
There are other forms of funding available to students such as university bursaries and scholarships, Fundi, Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme, Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme and student loans.
All universities offer financial aid to students with some universities providing extensive booklets detailing bursaries and scholarships, while others have representatives who explain exactly what is available and how to apply.
Fundi is another funding option. It provides students with loans to fund their studies and help make their lives easier.
Students interested in a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) may apply for the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme.
Postgraduate students who fall within the missing middle category may apply for the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP).
South African banks also offer student loans to help those who wish to study at a tertiary institution. Managing a student loan may be difficult.