The National Student Financial Assistance Program (NSFAP) was established on the National Student Financial Assistance Program’s foundation.
NSFAS is a scholarship program in South Africa that provides working-class and impoverished students with free, completely financed higher education and training.
The mission of NSFAS is to provide financial help to students from low-income and working-class households who are enrolled in college.
The program also administers scholarships from the Departmental Education and Training Agency, such as the Funza Lushaka Teacher Scholarship (for students pursuing teaching credentials), the DHET Disability Scholarship, and other scholarships (SETA).
Do I Qualify for NSFAS?
It’s time to find funding for your tertiary studies!
Usually, there are strict requirements for bursary or scholarship schemes, but don’t be discouraged! The South African government’s commitment to free education has made it a lot easier to qualify for NSFAS. Check out these requirements:
- You are a South African citizen
- Your household has a combined annual income of less than R350 000 per year
- You have applied for a course at a university/college and meet the entrance requirements
If you tick all of these boxes, what are you waiting for? Apply! If you don’t qualify, check out our other options on How to Fund Your Studies.
What do I need to I Apply?
Before you can apply with NSFAS, you have to get some paperwork together.
This might take some time, so make sure that you don’t leave it to the last minute! Here’s a list of the documents you need:
- Your South African ID or unabridged birth certificate
- IDs of your parents/guardians and everyone else living with you
- Parent’s letter of employment (not older than 3 months)
- Download and fully complete the consent forms
- Disability form if you have a disability
It’s important that all copies of these documents are certified, and you can do this at your nearest police station. Just be sure to take the original documents along with your application copies. Voila! You are ready to apply for NSFAS student financial aid.
Where can I Apply?
In this modern age, there are 2 official ways to apply for a NSFAS loan or bursary. You can apply online, or at your nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) office which you can find here.
To apply online:
1) Go to the NSFAS website.
2) Use your cell phone number and email address to register as a myNSFAS user on the website.
3) Click the ‘Apply’ button to start filling in your online application – but remember that you first need to have all of your certified and scanned documents before you start your application.
To Apply at a NYDA Office:
1) Fetch a paper application form from the NYDA office.
2) Use black ink to fill in your application form, and write in capital letters.
3) Staple all of your certified documents to your application.
4) Then hand your completed application to an assistant who will then give you an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ card with a barcode that matches one that is put onto your application.
So, when do I pay back the Loan?
Debt is something that everyone worries about and, for the most part, tries to avoid. But don’t worry! All students approved for a NSFAS bursary in and after 2018 can consider themselves debt free because your funding is in the form of a bursary and not a loan and therefore you will have no repayments.