What is an appeal?

An appeal is a request to review a decision not to fund a student who applied for NSFAS funding.

Who can appeal?

A student whose application for financial aid is rejected, or the financial aid for a continuing student is withdrawn , may lodge an appeal with the NSFAS.


  • The appeal decisions are subject to budget availability.
  • Appeals will only be considered for students who has applied to NSFAS for Financial Aid.

Who cannot appeal?

Students are not permitted to appeal if they:

  • Are registered for a qualification that NSFAS does not fund;
  • They have reached N+2 (or N+3 in the case of students with disabilities).
  • The student is a gap year student who NSFAS previously denied financial aid to because s/he did not meet the academic eligibility criteria.
  • The institution has not submitted their registration record to NSFAS or has submitted an incorrect registration record such enquiries should be directed to the institution.

A student must lodge an appeal within 30 days of being determined unsuccessful. To submit an appeal, he or she must first log in to his or her myNSFAS profile and provide the requested information.


Exceed Income Threshold

Appeals from students who exceed the income threshold will be considered if…



The financial circumstances of their household income have changed since the submission of their application and evidence of this is provided to the NSFAS.

The key contributor to their household income has become incapacitated or is deceased since the submission of their application

The student/applicant has been declared independent of their biological parents by a court and the court has determined that the parents are not responsible for the student’s/applicant’s maintenance, including the cost of his/her education

The student/applicant is from a child headed household and this is substantiated by a report from a social worker registered with the Department of Social Development.

The parents of a student/applicant are divorced and in terms of the divorce decree, a court has determined that the responsibility of the child maintenance, including the responsibility for the cost of education, is restricted to one parent, and the responsible parent meets financial eligibility criteria.

Failed to meet academic eligibility


Appeals from students who failed to meet the academic eligibility criteria will only be considered if

The student is a continuing student who was not a FTEN or FTN student in their previous academic term of study AND

The student’s failure to complete their academic term successfully is due to severe ill health for 2 or more months of the academic term or during examination OR

There has been death in the immediate family during the academic term OR

The student was the subject of a violent crime (such as rape and abuse) OR.

The student was pregnant and gave birth during the academic term and the institution has evaluated the student and completed the NSFAS standard propensity letter confirming the student will complete their qualification within an additional academic term OR.

The student is student living with a disability and a medical report indicates that the student failed to complete their academic term due to the nature of the disability and the institution has evaluated the student and completed the NSFAS standard propensity letter confirming the student will complete their qualification within an additional academic term OR

The student can provide evidence that the academic results received by NSFAS are incorrect.

Reasons for Appeals and Rejection


  • Income greater than R350k (FTEN) or Income greater than R600K (FTEN)

Rejection Reason Reason for Appeal Supporting documents Required
Income greater than R350K (first time eentering student) Credit Bureau Income greater than
I am a vulnerable Child I am a vulnerable Child
Combined household income is below threshold Proof of income (Payslip)
Change of income Retrenchment Letter
Letter of Termination
UIF indicating unemployed or incapacity
R350K (first time entering student) Declared Income Income greater than Deceased parent/guardian/spouse Death certificate for parent/guardian/spouse
I am a SASSA beneficiary SASSA Letter
R600K (disabled student) Credit Bureau Income greater than R600K (disabled student) Declared Income I am independent of my biological parents Court order indicating that the applicant is declared as independent of their biological parents
Cost of education is restricted to one parent Divorce decree indicating that the responsibility for the cost of education, is restricted to one parent

  • Returning Student: Audit Investigation (Ranking = 91)

Rejection Reason Reason for Appeal Supporting documents Required
Returning Student: Audit Investigation (Ranking =91)
I am a vulnerable Child I am a vulnerable Child
Combined household income is below threshold ITA34 for all listed parents/guardians/spouse for the 2021 Tax Assessment Year as issued by SARS.

And Retrenchment Letter
OR Letter of termination
OR UIF indicating unemployed or incapacity
OR Death certificate for parent/guardian/spouse
I am independent of my biological parents ITA34 for all listed parents/guardians/spouse for the 2021 Tax Assessment Year as issued by SARS.

And Court order indicating that the applicant is declared as independent of their biological parents
cost of education is restricted to one parent Divorce decree indicating that the responsibility for the cost of education, is restricted to one parent
  • Academic ineligibility as a result of N+ rule exceeded

  • Rejection Reason Reason for Appeal Supporting documents Required
    Academic Ineligibility as a result of N+ Rule Exceeded
    I was ill for 2 or more months Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND Medical report indicating severe ill health for 2
    or more months during the academic term or during examinations
    I gave birth during the academic term Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    Medical report indicating that the student was pregnant
    and gave birth during the academic term
    My disability affected my studies Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    A medical report indicating that the student failed
    to complete their academic term due to the nature of their Disability
    Death of an immediate family member during the academic year Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    Death certificate for an immediate family member during the academic year
    Academic ineligibility as a result of N+ rule exceeded
    I was subject to a violent crime Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    Proof of that the student was subject to a violent crime
    I need to complete less than 3 subjects to complete my report 191 qualification Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    Letter from the TVET College indicating that the student is required
    to complete less than 3 subjects to complete their report 191 qualification
    I need less than 4 subjects to complete my report NC(V) qualification Letter from institution indicating that the student has the propensity
    to complete their qualification within one additional academic term
    AND
    Letter from the TVET College indicating that the student is
    required to complete less than 4 subjects to complete their report NC(V) qualification