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How To Apply Nsfas?

Last updated on: 05/07/2024

Quick Summary

The blog post provides a comprehensive guide on how to apply for NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) in South Africa. It covers the eligibility criteria, step-by-step application process, required documents, tips for a successful application, coverage of the NSFAS bursary, checking application status, applying for funding for TVET colleges, and activating the NSFAS wallet. The post also includes answers to frequently asked questions to help students navigate the application process smoothly.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a South African government initiative that provides financial assistance to students who want to pursue higher education but require support due to limited financial resources. NSFAS offers bursaries that cover various expenses, including tuition fees, accommodation costs, textbooks and study materials, meals, and even travel if necessary.

For the 2024 academic year in South Africa, applications for NSFAS opened on November 21st of the previous year and will close on January 31st. This means that eligible students have a specific window within which they can apply for funding through this program.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of applying for NSFAS so that you can take advantage of this opportunity to further your studies without worrying about finances. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions as well as important information regarding eligibility criteria and required documents.

Whether you’re planning to attend university or enroll in a TVET college in South Africa next year or are simply interested in learning more about how NSAFS works – keep reading! By following our comprehensive guide below, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge needed to successfully navigate the application process and increase your chances of receiving financial aid through this invaluable program.

What is NSFAS?

NSFAS, which stands for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, is a South African government initiative that provides financial assistance to students who want to pursue higher education but lack the necessary funds. The aim of NSFAS is to ensure that deserving and academically capable individuals have access to tertiary education opportunities.

The scheme offers bursaries or loans (depending on individual circumstances) covering various expenses related to studying at a university or TVET college. This includes registration fees, tuition fees, allowances for food and personal care, learning materials such as textbooks and stationery supplies, accommodation costs if applicable, and even travel expenses in certain cases.

By providing this financial support through grants or low-interest loans with favorable repayment terms after graduation when recipients are employed earning above a specific threshold income level; NSFAS aims not only help alleviate the burden of student debt but also promote equal educational opportunities regardless of socioeconomic background.

It’s important to note that while receiving funding from NSFAS can greatly assist students in pursuing their academic goals without worrying about finances; it does come with certain eligibility criteria and application requirements.

Eligibility Criteria for NSFAS

To apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), there are certain eligibility criteria that you need to meet. These criteria ensure that financial assistance is provided to those who truly require it and can benefit from it. Here are the key requirements:

1. South African Citizenship

You must be a citizen of South Africa with a valid ID number.

2. Academic Requirements

To qualify, you should have passed grade 12 at a secondary institution or an equivalent qualification recognized by higher education institutions in South Africa.

3. Household Income Limit

Your combined household income should not exceed R350,000 per annum (R600,000 per annum if disabled). This criterion ensures that funding is directed towards students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

It’s important to note that meeting these basic eligibility requirements does not guarantee automatic approval for NSFAS funding as applications undergo further assessment based on available funds and other factors determined by NSFAS.

If you fulfill these eligibility criteria, then you can proceed with your application process confidently knowing that you meet the necessary prerequisites set forth by NSFAS.

How to Apply for NSFAS

Applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can be a straightforward process if you follow the necessary steps. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for NSFAS:

1. Creating a myNSFAS account:

To begin your application, visit the official NSFAS website and create an account by clicking on the “Apply” button or visiting https://my.nsfas.org.za/. You will need to provide some personal information such as your name, surname, valid South African ID number, email address, and cellphone number.

2. Updating personal information:

Once you have created your myNSFAS account successfully, log in using your credentials. It is essential to ensure that all of your personal details are accurate and up-to-date before proceeding with the application process.

3. Uploading required supporting documents:

As part of completing your application accurately and efficiently, it is crucial to gather all relevant supporting documentation beforehand.

  • Copy of ID or birth certificate: Provide certified copies of either one.
  • Proof of income: Submit proof that demonstrates whether you meet financial eligibility criteria set by NSFAS; this may include payslips from parents/guardians or affidavits stating their annual household income.
  • Additional documents for students with disabilities/vulnerable students: If applicable, submit any additional documentation related specifically to disability status or vulnerability circumstances.

4. Submitting The Application

After updating all necessary information within MyNsfas portal, you should proceed to submit your completed online form alongside uploaded documentations. Make sure everything has been filled out correctly before final submission.

By following these four simple steps – creating a myNSFAS Account, updating Personal Information, Uploading Required Supporting Documents, and finally submitting Your Completed Online Form – you’ll be well-prepared when applying for NSFAS funding assistance. Remember to apply as soon as the application window opens and ensure that you have all necessary documents ready for a smooth process.

Note: It is important to double-check your information before submitting, ensuring accuracy and completeness of your application. Incomplete or incorrect applications may result in delays or rejection of funding assistance from NSFAS.

Documents Required for NSFAS Application

When applying for NSFAS, there are certain documents that you will need to provide as part of your application. These documents help verify your eligibility and ensure that the financial assistance is allocated correctly. Here are the key documents required:

1. Copy of ID or Birth Certificate:

You will need to submit a certified copy of either your South African ID document or birth certificate as proof of identity.

2. Proof of Income:

NSFAS requires applicants to provide proof of their household income in order to determine if they meet the financial criteria for funding. This can include payslips, bank statements, or an affidavit confirming any other sources of income within the household.

3. Additional Documents for Students with Disabilities or Vulnerable Students:

If you have a disability or fall under vulnerable categories such as being orphaned, living in child-headed households, having special needs education requirements, etc., additional supporting documentation may be needed during the application process.

It’s important to note that due to COVID-19 restrictions on physical contact and certification processes at this time (as mentioned by URL3), it might not be necessary currently to obtain certified copies when submitting these documents online through myNSFAS account portal.

Remember – providing accurate information and complete documentation is crucial throughout the application process.

Tips for a Successful NSFAS Application

Applying for financial aid through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can be an important step in securing funding for your studies. To ensure a smooth and successful application process, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Applying early:

It is crucial to apply as soon as the application window opens to avoid missing the deadline. The 2024 NSFAS applications opened on November 21, 2023, and will close on January 31, 2024. By applying early, you give yourself ample time to gather all necessary documents and complete the application accurately.

2. Keeping documents organized:

To support your NSFAS application, certain documents need to be submitted along with your online form. These may include certified copies of identification or birth certificates; proof of income; consent from parent(s) or guardian if applicable; additional documentation related to disabilities or vulnerability status. Keeping these essential papers organized beforehand will save you time when filling out the online form.

3. Staying informed about any changes:

The requirements and processes involved in applying for financial assistance can change over time due to policy updates or external factors such as COVID-19 restrictions. Stay updated by regularly visiting official websites like www.nsfas.org.za where they provide accurate information regarding deadlines, application procedures, and other relevant details pertaining specifically to South African students seeking higher education financing options.

4. Seeking guidance if needed:

If at any point during the NSAFS application process you encounter difficulties understanding specific instructions or have questions that require clarification, it’s always advisable to seek help from reliable sources. This could involve reaching out directly via email/phone call/social media platforms provided by NFSAs themselves, consulting school counselors/advisors who might possess knowledge/experience dealing with similar situations.

By following these tips, you increase your chances of submitting a successful NSFAS bursary application which would enable access to financial assistance for your studies. Remember, the NSFAS bursary covers various aspects of your education journey including registration fees, tuition costs, living allowances, textbooks and study materials, as well as travel expenses if necessary. So take advantage of this opportunity by applying early, staying organized, and seeking guidance when needed.

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Coverage of the NSFAS Bursary

NSFAS provides comprehensive financial assistance to eligible students who require support in pursuing their higher education. The bursary covers various aspects of a student’s academic journey, ensuring that they can focus on their studies without worrying about financial constraints. Here is an overview of what the NSFAS bursary includes:

1. Tuition fees:

  • One of the primary expenses covered by NSFAS is tuition fees for your chosen course or program at a South African university or TVET college.
  • This means that you won’t have to worry about paying for your educational costs out-of-pocket.

2. Accommodation:

  • If you need accommodation while studying, whether it be in a residence hall or off-campus housing, NSFAS offers coverage for these expenses.
  • Having access to safe and comfortable living arrangements allows you to fully immerse yourself in campus life and concentrate on your academics.

3. Textbooks and study materials:

  • As part of its commitment towards supporting students’ learning needs, NSFAS also assists with funding textbooks and other essential study materials required throughout the academic year.
  • By alleviating this expense burden from students’ shoulders, it ensures equal opportunities for all learners regardless of their economic background.

4. Meals:

  • Recognizing that proper nutrition plays a crucial role in overall well-being as well as academic performance, NSFAS extends its support by providing allowances specifically designated toward meals during term time.
  • This enables recipients not only to meet basic nutritional requirements but also to maintain energy levels necessary for effective learning.

5. Travel Expenses:

  • For those individuals whose homes are located far away from where they will be attending classes, the cost of travel may pose a significant challenge.
  • To address this issue, NSFAS offers a transport allowance which can help cover transportation costs such as bus fare, fuel, etc.
  • This provision helps ensure that distance does not become a barrier preventing deserving students from accessing higher education.

It is important to note that the coverage provided by NSFAS may vary depending on individual circumstances and needs. Therefore, it is advisable for applicants to thoroughly review the specific terms and conditions of their bursary agreement with NSFAS.

By offering comprehensive financial support in these areas, NSFAS aims to create an inclusive educational environment where all South African students have equal opportunities for success.

Checking the Status of the NSFAS Application

Once you have submitted your application for NSFAS, it is important to keep track of its progress. Here are steps on how to check the status of your application:

  1. Visit the official NSFAS website at www.nsfas.org.za.
  2. Look for a section or tab specifically dedicated to checking application status. This may be labeled as “Check My Application” or something similar.
  3. Click on this section and enter your login credentials if prompted (username and password).
  4. Once logged in, navigate to the page where you can view your application details.
  5. You should see an option that allows you to check the current status of your application.
  6. The system will provide updates regarding whether your documents have been received, verified by relevant authorities such as the Home Affairs Department, and approved by NSFAS.
  7. If there are any issues with missing documentation or incomplete information, you will also receive notifications through this portal. It’s essential to regularly monitor these updates so that necessary actions can be taken promptly.


  • The processing time for applications varies depending on various factors including volume and complexity.
  • It is advisable not only to rely solely upon online tracking but also stay informed about other communication channels like email, SMS, and phone calls from NSFAS officials.

By following these simple steps, you’ll always know exactly what stage your application is at. You can rest assured that you are keeping up-to-date with the progress of your NSFAS application.

Applying for NSFAS Funding for TVET Colleges

If you are planning to study at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college, you can also apply for funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The process of applying for NSFAS funding is similar to that of university students. Here’s how you can apply:

1. Check your eligibility:

Before starting the application process, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria set by NSFAS. This includes being a South African citizen with a valid ID number, having an email address and cell phone number, being a first-time entering student at a TVET college in 2024, and meeting the academic requirements.

2. Create or log into your myNSFAS account:

If you have already created an account when applying as a university student or in previous years, simply log in using your username/email address and password. Otherwise, create an account on the myNSFAS portal by providing accurate personal information.

3. Complete/update personal details:

Once logged into your myNSFAS account, navigate to the “My Personal Details” section where you can update any outdated contact information such as cellphone numbers and email addresses.

4. Upload required documents:

  • Copy of ID/Birth Certificate
  • Proof of income
  • Additional documents if applicable

5. Submitting Your Application:

After updating all necessary fields, click the submit button. You should receive a confirmation message indicating successful submission.

6. Track Your Application Status:

After submitting, you’ll receive an application reference number which allows you to track your progress online via the ‘Track My Applications’ feature available on the NSFAS website.

Applying early is crucial since there may be limited funds available, and applications received after the deadline might not be considered. It’s important to stay informed about any changes regarding deadlines, application processes, etc., so regularly check the official websites and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages maintained by NSFAS.

If you have any questions or need assistance during the application process, NSFAS provides contact information on their website and social media platforms. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if needed.

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How to Activate the NSFAS Wallet

Once your application for NSFAS has been approved, you will need to activate your NSFAS wallet in order to receive and manage your funds. The NSFAS wallet is a digital platform that allows students to access their bursary funds conveniently.

To activate your NSFAS wallet, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the myNSFAS portal:

    • Go to the official website of myNSFAS at https://my.nsfas.org.za/.
    • Click on “Sign In” or “Log In” if you already have an account.
  2. Log into your myNSFAS account:

    If you don’t have an existing account, create one by providing all necessary details such as username, password, email address, etc.

  3. Navigate through menu options:

    Once logged in successfully, navigate through different sections until you find the ‘My Account’ section.

  4. Select ‘Activate Your Wallet’:

    Under the ‘My Account’ section, select the option called ‘Activate Your Wallet’.

  5. Provide required information:

    Fill out any additional information requested during this process accurately, including banking details.

  6. Accept terms and conditions:

    Read carefully and accept the Terms & Conditions related to using the NSFAS wallet.

  7. Submit activation request:

    After filling up the form, click the submit button.

  8. Wait for confirmation email/SMS from NSFAS team:

    Open your inbox/spam folder and check whether there are any emails/SMS regarding the successful completion of activating the NSFAS wallet. If found, open it and read the instructions mentioned inside.

  9. Verify Email/SMS received from NSFAS Team:

    Open the email/SMS and follow the verification process mentioned to confirm your activation.

  10. Accessing Funds via Activated Wallet:

    After receiving the confirmation message/email, log in again to your myNSFAS dashboard. Go under the “Wallet” tab where you can see the available balance along with the transaction history.

By following these simple steps, you will be able to activate your NSFAS wallet easily. Once activated, you can use it to pay for tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks, and other educational expenses. It is important to manage your funds responsibly and keep track of your transactions through the NSFAS wallet.

Remember that if you encounter any issues or have questions regarding the activation process or managing your funds, you can always reach out to NSFAS for assistance. They provide contact information on their website as well as social media platforms where they are available to help students with any queries related to their bursary funding.

Activating your NSFAS wallet ensures a smooth disbursement of funds so that you can focus on pursuing your education without financial worries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the application period for NSFAS?

The application period for NSFAS varies each year. For the 2024 academic year, applications opened on November 21, 2023, and will close on January 31, 2024. It’s important to apply as soon as possible within this timeframe to avoid missing out.

Question 2: Who is eligible to apply for NSFAS?

To be eligible for an NSFAS bursary, you must meet certain criteria. This includes being a South African citizen or permanent resident with a valid ID number. You should also have passed grade 12 at a secondary institution and plan to study at a recognized South African university or TVET college in the upcoming academic year (in this case – 2024). Additionally, your combined household income should not exceed R350,000 per annum (R600,000 per annum if disabled).

Question 3: What documents are required for the application?

When applying for NSFAS, you’ll need several supporting documents. These include certified copies of your ID document or birth certificate, certified copies of IDs from parents/guardians (if applicable), proof of income, and any additional documentation that may be relevant, such as retrenchment letters or divorce decrees. It’s essential to ensure all these documents are included and submitted correctly as they play a crucial role in determining your eligibility for funding.

Question 4: Are certified documents required?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the requirement of certifying documents has been waived. However, it is still important that the information provided is clearly legible and accurate. Incomplete or documents with missing information may delay the processing of your application. Therefore, take care when uploading the documents to ensure they are scanned clearly and in full color. If there is any suspicion of fraudulent activity, NSFAS holds the right to request certified copies of the documents.

Question 5: How can I reset my myNSFAS login details?

If you forget your username, password, or cellphone number for your myNSFAS account, you can reset your login details through the following steps:

  1. Visit the official NSFAS website.
  2. Click on “myNSFAS” and select “Forgot Password.”
  3. Follow the prompts that will be provided to verify your identity and proceed with the reset process. You may need to provide personal information such as ID number, email address, and cell phone number associated with your account.
  4. Once verified, a link will be sent to your registered email address or cell phone number. Click on the link to proceed with the reset process and create a new password for your account.

Remember to keep this new password secure and easily accessible in case you need it again in the future.

Question 6: How can I contact NSFAS for further assistance?

If you require further assistance from NSFAS to answer any questions or resolve issues related to your specific situation, you can easily contact them through their website and social media platforms. Their official website will provide updated information on how to get in touch via emails, toll-free numbers, and other relevant contacts. It’s recommended that you double-check these details directly on the website as they are a reliable source of official communication from NSFAS.


  1. https://fundiconnect.co.za/2024-nsfas-applications-how-to-apply/
  2. https://apply-nsfas.co.za/
  3. https://www.waterbergcollege.co.za/documents/external/NSFAS_2021_Application_How_to_Apply_User_Guide_3_Aug_2020_(1).pdf

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