web analytics

Who Qualifies For Nsfas?

Quick Summary

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides financial assistance to qualifying South African students who wish to pursue higher education at public universities and TVET colleges. To be eligible for NSFAS funding, applicants must meet certain criteria, including South African citizenship and a household income below a specified threshold. This blog post covers the eligibility requirements, application process, benefits of NSFAS funding, and other important information for students seeking financial support for their studies.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a vital entity in South Africa that provides financial assistance to qualifying students who wish to pursue their studies at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges or public universities. The primary objective of NSFAS is to support access to higher education for students from poor and working-class families, enabling them the opportunity to obtain an education they would otherwise not be able afford.

Through its bursary program, NSFAS covers various expenses such as registration fees, tuition fees, allowances for learning materials, living expenses, personal care costs including accommodation and transport. Additionally, it offers extra support services tailored specifically towards assisting students with disabilities by providing medical assessments along with assistive devices if required.

Qualifying Criteria for NSFAS Funding

To qualify for funding through NSFAS applicants must meet certain criteria which include being a South African citizen planning on studying at either a TVET college or public university while falling within specific income brackets. SASSA grant recipients are also eligible provided their combined household income does not exceed R350 000 per year whereas persons with disabilities can apply if their combined household income falls below R600 000 per annum.

It’s important note that individuals who have completed previous qualifications or whose combined household incomes surpass the specified thresholds should refrain from applying.

Applying for NSFAS Funding

Applying for funding via NFSAs has been made simple thanks online application portal available on the official website where prospective candidates will find all necessary information regarding eligibility requirements alongside details about supporting documents needed during submission process.

f their financial circumstances.

2. Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: By providing financial aid to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, NSFAS helps break the cycle of poverty. Access to higher education can lead to better job prospects and higher earning potential, enabling individuals to improve their socio-economic status and provide a better future for themselves and their families.

3. Promoting Skills Development: NSFAS funding allows students to pursue their chosen fields of study, which contributes to the development of a skilled workforce in South Africa. By investing in education, NSFAS helps address the skills gap and supports the country’s economic growth and development.

4. Reducing Student Debt: Many students rely on loans to finance their education, which can result in significant debt burdens upon graduation. NSFAS provides financial assistance in the form of bursaries and grants, reducing the need for students to take on excessive loans and helping them start their careers with less financial stress.

5. Supporting Academic Success: Financial worries can be a significant barrier to academic success. By providing financial assistance, NSFAS allows students to focus on their studies without the added stress of financial constraints. This support increases the likelihood of students completing their qualifications successfully.

In conclusion, NSFAS plays a crucial role in providing financial assistance to qualifying students, ensuring equal access to higher education and promoting skills development. By alleviating the financial burden, NSFAS helps break the cycle of poverty, reduces student debt, and supports academic success.

Eligibility Criteria for NSFAS Funding

To qualify for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria are in place to ensure that financial assistance is provided to those who truly need it and cannot afford the cost of studying without support.

1. South African citizenship requirement:

  • Applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents.

2. Household income threshold:

  • The applicant’s household income plays a crucial role in determining their eligibility for NSFAS funding.
  • For most applicants, the combined annual household income should not exceed R350,000 per annum.

3. Specific income brackets for different categories of applicants:

SASSA grant recipients:

  • Students who receive grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) automatically qualify if they meet other requirements set by NSFAS.

Persons with disabilities:

  • Individuals with disabilities can also apply for NSFAS funding if their combined annual household income does not exceed R600,000 per annum.

4. Exclusion criteria:

Completed previous qualification(s):

  • If an applicant has already completed a tertiary qualification at any level before applying for NSFAS funding, they will generally be excluded from receiving further financial aid through this scheme.

It is important to note that meeting these basic eligibility requirements does not guarantee automatic approval as there may still be limited funds available each year and selection processes based on academic merit might come into play when allocating funds among eligible candidates.

How to Apply for NSFAS Funding

Application Process:

Applying for NSFAS funding is a straightforward process that can be done online. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Visit the official website of NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme).
  2. Create an account on the portal by providing your personal details and creating a username and password.
  3. Log in using your newly created credentials.
  4. Fill out the application form with accurate information about yourself, including contact details, educational background, and household income.

Required Documents:

To complete your application successfully, make sure you have all the necessary documents ready before starting:

  1. South African ID document or birth certificate
  2. Certified copies of parents’ or guardians’ IDs
  3. Proof of income (payslips or affidavits if unemployed)
  4. Matric results/Grade 12 certificate (if available)

Deadline for Applications:

It’s crucial to submit your application within the specified timeframe set by NSFAS each year as late applications may not be considered.

The deadline varies from year to year but typically falls around November-December preceding academic years commencing in January/February.

Online Application Portal:

NSFAS provides an easy-to-use online platform where applicants can access their accounts throughout various stages of their funding journey – from initial registration through disbursement processes until completion/cancellation status updates become available post-study period conclusion(s).

By logging into this secure system regularly after submitting required documentation initially requested during sign-up phase mentioned earlier hereinabove under “application process” section above), students will receive notifications regarding any additional requirements needed along every step taken towards securing financial assistance via bursaries offered exclusively via NSAFS program offerings nationwide across eligible institutions listed publicly accessible websites maintained jointly between government departments responsible overseeing tertiary education matters nationally alongside respective provincial authorities tasked administering such programs locally per region served accordingly based upon geographical location chosen institution attended while studying towards desired qualification(s) sought after completion thereof.

Remember, it’s essential to keep track of your application status and any updates or requests for additional information that may be communicated through the online portal.

Benefits of NSFAS Funding

NSFAS provides a range of benefits to qualifying students, ensuring that they have the necessary financial support to pursue their studies. Here are some key advantages of receiving NSFAS funding:

Coverage of Registration Fees:

One significant benefit is that NSFAS covers the cost of registration fees for eligible students. This means that you won’t have to worry about paying upfront fees when enrolling at your chosen university or TVET college.

Coverage of Tuition Fees:

Another major advantage is that NSFAS funds cover tuition fees in full or partially, depending on your eligibility and specific circumstances. This relieves the burden associated with expensive educational costs and allows you to focus on your academic pursuits without worrying about how to pay for them.

Allowances for Learning Materials, Living Expenses, Personal Care, Accommodation, and Transport:

In addition to covering registration and tuition fees, NSFAS also provides allowances aimed at supporting various aspects related to student life.

  • Learning materials allowance ensures access to textbooks, stationery supplies, and other essential resources needed throughout your course.
  • Living expenses allowance helps meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and personal care items while studying.
  • Accommodation allowance assists with housing-related costs if living away from home during term time.
  • Transportation allowance makes it easier for students who need to commute between campus and their place of residence or travel between different campuses within the institution.

Additional Support for Students with Disabilities:

NSFAS also provides additional support for students with disabilities. This includes medical assessments, assistive devices, and human support to ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunities to succeed in their studies.

List of Universities and TVET Colleges Eligible for NSFAS Funding

Choosing the right institution to pursue higher education is a crucial decision, especially when it comes to funding options. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides financial assistance to qualifying students who plan to study at specific universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in South Africa. It’s important for prospective students to be aware of which institutions are eligible for NSFAS funding.

The eligibility criteria set by NSFAS ensures that funds are allocated appropriately based on various factors such as institutional capacity, student demand, program availability, and government priorities. By choosing an eligible institution, you can maximize your chances of receiving financial support from NSFAS throughout your academic journey.

To help you make an informed decision about where to apply or enroll with the possibility of accessing NFSAs funding opportunities here is a list:

  1. University 1
  2. University 2
  3. University 3
  4. TVET College A
  5. TVET College B

Please note that this list may not be exhaustive but represents some examples available on the official website maintained by NSAFS itself [URL]. We recommend visiting their website regularly or contacting them directly for updated information regarding eligible institutions.

It’s essential always double-checking if any changes have been made since policies might evolve over time due governmental decisions or other circumstances beyond our control.

By selecting one among these listed universities/colleges will ensure compatibility between your educational aspirations while being able also access potential benefits provided through NFSAs programs like covering registration fees, tuition costs, and allowances towards learning materials, living expenses, personal care, accommodation, and transport.

Remember that each university/college has its own admission requirements apart from those established by NSFAS, so we encourage applicants to consult respective websites admissions offices before making final choices.

Academic Progression and Continuation of NSFAS Funding

To ensure the continued support and funding from NSFAS, students are required to meet certain academic progression criteria. These requirements aim to encourage students’ successful completion of their qualifications while making efficient use of financial resources.

Requirements for maintaining NSFAS funding:

  1. Minimum credit pass rate:

    • Students must achieve a minimum percentage or grade in their registered modules or subjects.
    • The specific pass rate may vary depending on the institution and program of study.
  2. Satisfactory progress towards qualification completion:

    • Students should make satisfactory progress towards completing their chosen qualification within the designated timeframe.
  3. Attendance record:

    • Regular attendance is crucial for academic success; therefore, consistent class attendance is expected from funded students.

Consequences of not meeting academic progression criteria:

Failure to meet these requirements can have serious implications on a student’s eligibility for future NSFAS funding:

  1. Probationary period:

    If a student fails to meet one or more aspects of the academic progression criteria, they may be placed on probation by both their educational institution as well as NSFAS itself.

  2. Suspension/termination/reduction in funding:

    In cases where there has been repeated failure over multiple semesters/terms without improvement during probationary periods, NSFAS reserves the right to suspend, terminate, or reduce funding based upon its discretion.

Support services available for students:

Recognizing that some circumstances might hinder an individual’s ability to maintain satisfactory performance academically despite their best efforts, NSFAS provides various forms of assistance including but not limited to the following:

  1. Academic Support Programs:

    Institutions often offer additional tutoring programs, counseling sessions, and workshops designed specifically to help struggling learners improve skills necessary to succeed at the tertiary level of education.

  2. Appeals Process:

    Students who believe extenuating circumstances affected their academic performance can appeal decisions regarding suspension, reduction, or termination of funds. The appeals process allows students to provide evidence and explanations for their academic difficulties, which will be reviewed by a panel.

  3. Academic Advising:

    Institutions typically have dedicated advisors who can guide students on course selection, time management strategies, and study techniques that may help them improve academically.

It is important for funded students to take advantage of these support services as early as possible if they encounter challenges in meeting the required academic standards. By seeking assistance proactively, students increase their chances of success while maintaining eligibility for continued NSFAS funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the maximum household income to qualify for NSFAS funding?

To be eligible for NSFAS funding, applicants must meet certain income criteria. The specific threshold depends on various factors such as whether you are a SASSA grant recipient or have a disability. Generally, students from households with an annual combined income of no more than R350,000 can apply for NSFAS funding. However, if you fall under the category of persons with disabilities, your household’s combined annual income should not exceed R600,000.

Question 2: Can I apply for NSFAS funding if I have completed a previous qualification?

If you have already completed a previous qualification at any level (e.g., diploma or degree), unfortunately, you will not be eligible to receive further financial assistance through NFSAS. This restriction ensures that funds are allocated primarily towards supporting individuals who require financial aid during their initial studies.

Question 3: How long does NSFAS funding cover a student’s studies?

Once approved and awarded NSFAS funding covers all costs associated with your chosen program until its completion provided that academic progression requirements are met consistently throughout your study period. This means that registration fees, tuition fees, and allowances for learning materials, living expenses, personal care, accommodation, and transport are covered by NSFAS to ensure that financial constraints do not hinder your educational journey. However, it is important to note that each year, you will need to reapply and meet the eligibility criteria in order to continue receiving funds from NSFAS. Funding is typically awarded on an annual basis with renewals based on the successful completion of academic requirements in previous years.

Question 4: Can I choose any university or TVET college for NSFAS Funding?

No, you cannot choose just any university or TVET college when applying for NSFAS Funding. NSFAS has a list of specific universities and TVET colleges that are eligible for funding. These institutions have been approved by NSFAS and meet the necessary criteria to ensure quality education. It is important to consult the official NSFAS website or contact their helpline for an up-to-date list of approved institutions before making your application.

Question 5: What happens if I fail to meet the academic progression criteria?

If you fail to meet the academic progression requirements set by your institution while receiving NSFAS funding, there may be consequences regarding future financial assistance. In such cases, it is crucial to communicate with both your institution and NSFAS to understand the possible implications. The exact consequences may vary depending on individual circumstances, but it could result in a suspension or termination of further NSFAS Funding. It is important to remember that academic progression criteria are put in place not only by NSFAS but also by your university or TVET college as a means of tracking student performance and ensuring accountability. If you find yourself struggling academically, it’s advisable to speak with your lecturers, tutors, and counselors who can provide guidance and support services available on your campus.

Question 6: Can I apply for NSFAS Funding if I am a person with a disability?

Yes, persons with disabilities can apply for NSFAS Funding as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements, including being South African citizens, having a household income below the specified thresholds, and planning to study at public universities or TVET colleges. Persons with disabilities will need to provide additional documentation, such as medical assessments, to verify their condition. This information will be used to determine the level of support required, which could include assistive devices or medical specialist services. NSFAS has a dedicated support system in place for those differently-abled students so they have equal opportunity to pursue their education without financial barriers.

Question 7: How do I check the status of my NSFAS application?

To check the status of your NSFAS application, you can visit their official website and log into your account using the credentials created during the application process. Once logged in, you should be able to view updates on your funding application’s progress. If there are any concerns or issues regarding your application, it is advisable to contact NSFAS directly through their helpline or email for further assistance.


  1. https://www.cut.ac.za/nsfas
  2. https://www.nsfas.org.za/content/bursary-scheme.html
  3. https://www.gov.za/news/media-statements/nsfas-releases-2022-funding-lists-eligible-students-02-feb-2022

Latest Questions Answered