Anticipation surges as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) announces the highly awaited opening date for 2024 applications. Marking a pivotal moment for aspiring South African students, NSFAS reveals that the application window for the 2024 academic year will commence on November 21, 2023. This unveiling brings renewed hope and opportunity for countless individuals seeking financial support to pursue higher education.
Applications will close 31st January 2024 so make sure you apply early if you are interested in starting or continuing your studies with the help of NSFAS.
Access to Education for All:
NSFAS stands as a beacon of hope for many South African students who dream of pursuing further education but face financial constraints. The scheme’s primary objective is to ensure that deserving students, particularly those from low-income households, have the financial means to access quality education at universities and TVET colleges across the country.
The opening of applications for the 2024 academic year presents an opportunity for prospective students to apply for financial aid through NSFAS. The application window is an important phase for students to submit their requests for funding to support their academic endeavors.
Who Can Apply:
Eligibility criteria for NSFAS funding are designed to assist students meeting specific requirements:
- South African citizens or permanent residents.
- Students in need of financial support to pursue undergraduate studies at a university or TVET college.
- Applicants from low-income households, where the combined household income falls below the threshold set by NSFAS.
Prospective students seeking financial aid from NSFAS need to follow a structured application process:
- Visit the NSFAS website (www.nsfas.org.za) to access the online application portal.
- Create an account or log in if previously registered.
- Complete the application form accurately, providing all necessary details and supporting documentation.
- Submit the application before the specified deadline.
- Monitor application progress through the NSFAS online portal for updates or additional requirements.
Before application, ensure that you meet the correct criteria, according to the Department of Higher Education:
- “You are SASSA grant recipients or
- Your combined household income is not more than R350 000 per year or
- If you are a person living with a disability, your combined household income should not be more than R600 000 per year or
- If you are a student who begun their university studies before 2018 and their household income is not more than R122 000 per year.”
To begin the application process digitally, first head to the official NSFAS website, here. After that, click on the MyNSFAS tab on the top right of the screen.
Now you will need to create a MyNSFAS account, which includes providing your name, an email address, mobile number, and ID number. Returning beneficiaries only need to log in with their previously given information.
After signing up, you will be able to click on the “APPLY” tab where you will be taken to a screen in which all relevant information must be provided. This includes the uploading of necessary documents to prove you meet the above criteria.
Make sure that you have the required documents, including a copy for your ID or birth certificate. A copy of the ID of your parent, spouse or guardian, a document that shows proof of income, or income of parents/guardians, or one year’s IRPS.
Remember, proof of income is not required if you are a SASSA grant beneficiary. You may also have to provide a Vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent Form, which must be completed and signed by yourself (as the student) if you are looking to be recognised as such by the Department of Social Development.
Finally, click submit when all the required information has been provided.
NSFAS has said that it will look to adjust and improve its payment system to ensure that all current flaws are ironed out in due time. This includes the establishment of a 24/7 call centre so that beneficiaries and applicants can receive adequate information when they need it.
Students will be able to track their application statuses and funding via WhatsApp on 078 519 8006, and USSD at *120*67327#.
The NSFAS application process is stressful for many, and many more will not receive the information they need due to the enormous interest that the scheme receives every year. Make sure to apply early and ensure you have all the right documents miss out on any anxiety and stress.
Applicants are required to submit certain documents to support their applications. These documents typically include:
- Certified copies of identification documents or birth certificates.
- Household income proof or affidavit (if applicable).
- Academic transcripts or matric results.
- Any additional documents requested by NSFAS.