• Fee Free Higher Education

  • Why has NSFAS chosen to work with Thusong Centres for the 2021 Application Cycle

    Thusong Service Centres are one-stop, integrated community development centres, with community participation and services relevant to people's needs. They aim to empower the poor and disadvantaged through access to information, services and resources from government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), parastatals, business, etc. enabling them to engage in government programmes for the improvement of their lives.

  • I no longer remember or use the email and cell number I registered with; how can I retrieve my OTP?
    • Go to www.nsfas.org.za and click on myNSFAS account
    • Enter your username and password
    • Click on the My personal details tab
    • Enter your current cell phone number and email address
    • Click Update your details
    • A One Time Pin (OTP) will be sent to the new cell phone number and email address that you have provided
    • Enter the OTP and click submit
    • Your details will immediately be updated
  • When will application results be communicated?

    Application results will be communicated to all applicants once NSFAS received confirmation from the Institution that an academic offer has been made to you. This will be communicated to you before the start of the academic year via SMS, email and through your myNSFAS account.

  • I am a parent/guardian, unemployed, was not retrenched, what proof may I submit for the application?

    An affidavit will be accepted; however, your employment status will be verified through government entities and 3rd party agencies.

  • Do I need to apply for 2021 funding or each semester and trimester if I am currently approved?

    No, if you are currently funded by NSFAS, you are not required to reapply.

  • What supporting documents are required when I apply?

    All applicants are required to submit: Certified copy of your ID, not older than 3 months A signed and completed consent form. If you are dependent on your parents/guardian/spouse, please provide: Certified ID copies of parent/s, guardian, spouse not older than 3 months Proof of income of parent, guardian or spouse (payslip or appointment letter If you are self-sufficient (no parent/guardian support) please provide: Proof of income (payslip or appointment letter). If you have a disability, please provide: Completed and signed Annexure A (if your information is not pre-populated on the portal). If you are an orphan, please provide: Completed and signed Declaration Form, Other documents required, if applicable: Retrenchment letter / UIF documentation; Death certificate/s; Divorce decree.

  • My parents/ guardian is an informal trader selling fruit, what proof of income should I upload?

    An affidavit by your parent/guardian will be required as proof. Your parents/guardian income will be verified by 3rd party agencies.

  • I already have a bursary from another organisation that covers part of my studies, can I apply for NSFAS to cover the balance of funds needed?

    Students on a full NSFAS bursary may not receive another full cost of study bursary from another source at the same time. If a student receives a partial bursary from another source, a NSFAS bursary may be awarded, but the allocations must be reduced accordingly, so that the student is supported fully for their studies. NSFAS may not pay for amounts already covered by another funder. Any excess funding must be refunded to NSFAS by the Institution. A student may not receive funding in excess of the DHET National Rules and guidelines.

  • Why has NSFAS chosen to work with Teacher Centres?

    These are physical sites located within the districts which are easily accessible to all teachers from schools in the district. From these District Teacher Development Centres (DTDCs) curriculum support staff can operate, teachers can access resources, Continued Professional Teaching Development (CPTD) courses are delivered and teacher Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) can meet. Vodacom and UNISA partner with the DBE in to develop the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) skills of teachers and have equipped the majority of the 147 DTDCs with ICT resources and internet connectivity. This makes the DTDCs hubs of digital teaching and learning which also offer services to learners in the district and members of the community in which they are based. A list of participating Teachers Centres is attached. All learners who wish to utilize such services, must make an appointment with the Centre manager.

  • I am not receiving the One Time Pin (OTP), how do I access it?

    You can click the option to resend a One Time Pin (OTP) for another one to be sent to you.

  • I am still studying- am I required to start paying my NSFAS loan?

    Did you know that repayment of your study loan is only due once you have secured employment? If you received a study loan in 2017 and prior, an interest holiday of 12 months post exit date is applicable to student loan accounts.

  • Does the NSFAS funding cover short courses at universities?

    No. NSFAS funding covers approved funded programmes at universities which are all undergraduate whole qualifications i.e. degree and diploma.

  • I am an orphan (vulnerable child), how/where do I get hold of a social worker?

    You may speak to a Life Orientation educator or principal to direct you to your nearest Department of Social Development with the area.

  • What are the NSFAS bursary academic requirements?

    You need to have passed Grade 9 to 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET college and Grade 12 to receive funding to study at a university or TVET college. If you are approved for NSFAS funding, you will be required to meet the academic admission requirements of the university or TVET college before NSFAS allocates any funding to you.

  • Can I apply for NSFAS if I was funded previously?

    Yes, you may apply for funding. You will be required to apply during the application period. Please note that if you have been registered prior to 2018 your combined household income must not exceed R122 000 per annum. If you were registered in or after 2018 for the first time your combined household income must not exceed R350 00 per annum.

  • Where is the nearest centre to apply?

    Visit www.nsfas.org.za to find an application centre closest to you.

  • Can students with disabilities apply for funding?

    Yes. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply for financial assistance. NSFAS provides special disability funding to all approved students with disabilities at any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges. The applicant’s household income must not exceed R600 000 per year.

  • I have not received any funding decision for my 2020 funding application

    Check your application status by logging into your myNSFAS account and track your application progess. The page will advise on what stage your application is.

  • I only have a cellphone number and no email address; how do I proceed with the application?

    To create an email account is easy and free. Please create an email address through Gmail, Yahoo, Webmail or any other free email service provider to ensure you receive relevant communication from NSFAS.

  • Can I apply for NSFAS if I have already studying without the NSFAS funding or with other sponsor?

    Yes, you may apply if you are a South African citizen studying at a public university or TVET college. If you have been registered and started studying before 2018, your combined household income must not be more than R122 000 per annum for you to qualify. However, if you were registered in or after 2018 for the first time, your combined household income must not be more than R350 000 per year.

  • In terms of semester students, does NSFAS fund them and what is the process?

    NSFAS funds a student for the duration of studies therefore NSFAS does not require the student to apply every semester or year. When a student is approved for funding it is for the whole academic year, and subsequent years after, provided that the student meets the academic progression requirements.

  • How do I create a myNSFAS account?
    • Log onto www.nsfas.org.za and click on the myNSFAS tab.
    • Click on register. Tick on the acceptance option to allow NSFAS to verify and validate the information you provided.
    • Type in your ID number as it appears on your ID document.
    • Type in your name and surname as they appear on your ID Document.
    • Type in your email address and cellphone number. Your username will be your email address.
    • Create a password and confirm your password.
    • Upload a copy of your ID.
    • Click on register.
    • After clicking register, a One Time Pin (OTP) will be sent to the email address and cellphone number you provided.
    • Check your cellphone and email for the OTP.
    • Type in the OTP in the tab provided and click submit.
    • You will then receive another SMS and email confirming that your myNSFAS account has been created. You may now continue with your application.
  • I applied for 2020 NSFAS funding, I have an application reference number but never received feedback.

    Check your application status by logging into your myNSFAS account and track your application. If you do not have a myNSFAS account, visit www.nsfas.org.za for the steps on how to create your myNSFAS account.

  • If my parent/guardian is a taxi driver, what proof of income should I upload?

    You will be required to submit a letter of employment indicating your parent/guardian's income.

  • If a student had previously been rejected by NSFAS due to lack of funds, is it now guaranteed that they will be awarded funding?

    All eligible students who fall within the R350 000 household income bracket, and have been admitted at universities and TVET colleges, will be funded.

  • What if I don't have a cell phone?

    To apply online, you will need a functioning cellphone, a valid cellphone number and your own email address. If you don't have a cellphone, you may use the cellphone of a trusted guardian or relative, but it is best to have your own cellphone device and number. No two applicants may use the same cell phone number or email address. This information is needed to create a myNSFAS account which you will use to apply for funding.

  • How to update your contact details?

    To update your cellphone number or email address, log on to your myNSFAS account using your Username (email address) and password. Once you have logged in click Personal Details on the top of your screen. You will then be able to update your cellphone number and email address.

  • Which institutions does NSFAS provide funding for?

    NSFAS will only provide financial assistance to eligible students who have applied and have been accepted at public universities and TVET colleges for an approved funded programme. We do not provide funding if you will be studying or already studying at a private institution.

  • What does NSFAS funding cover?

    The cost covered can include tuition, registration and allowances based on each student’s study circumstance. NSFAS provides funding to all approved students to cover the cost of tuition and registration. NSFAS funded students who wish to study at a university will receive additional allowances to cover the cost of books, transport, accommodation, food and personal care. NSFAS funded students who wish to study at a TVET college will receive additional allowances to cover the cost of transport, accommodation inclusive of meals and personal care. NSFAS funded students with disability, receive the funding according to the TVET and university allowance list; inclusive of supporting devices such as wheelchairs, special computer devices and human support depending on the student's needs.

  • What happens if you are declined for a NSFAS bursary?

    If an applicant is not satisfied with the results of their applications, they can appeal this decision by completing the appeal process either available through their myNSFAS account for first time entering students or at the institutions financial aid for continuing students for continuing or senior students.

  • I plan to study for two qualifications at two institutions at the same time

    A student can only be funded for one qualification at one institution at any one time. If the student completed a N6 qualification at a TVET college, he/she may be funded at a university. Once your N6 is complete you will need to apply for funding for university.

  • I studied at a TVET college during 2020 but want to study for a university qualification in 2021

    Yes, to be funded for the university qualification in 2021, you need to have passed and completed your 2020 TVET qualification. You need to ensure that you apply at the university for a NSFAS funded course, once you have been admitted at the university, the university will send us a registration details that will confirm your registration, we will then change your funding from TVET to university.

  • Does NSFAS pay registration costs for first year and returning students?

    Yes. Registration costs are usually the first payment made towards your tuition costs, and if you have been confirmed for funding by NSFAS, universities and TVET colleges will not expect you to pay the registration fees upfront.

  • I have already completed a university qualification but would like to enroll for a second one

    Students who have already obtained a prior university qualification do not qualify and should not apply for funding. Students who have completed TVET N6 qualifications cannot be funded at a TVET college again but can be funded at university.

  • Allowances

  • How do I reset my cellphone number – in case I lose my phone? Will sim swap work?

    To update your cellphone number or email address, log on to your myNSFAS account using your Username (email address) and password. Once you have logged in click Personal Details on the top of your screen. You will then be able to update your cellphone number and email address.

  • How do I activate NSFAS Wallet?
    • Sign your LAF/ SOP.
    • Receive an SMS welcoming you to Mobile Wallet.
    • Verify your account by dialing *120*176# and reply with your ID number.
    • Receive a password that you will use when transacting.
    • Your vouchers will be made available for spending.
  • Why did the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) decide to stop providing book vouchers?

    Book allowances only apply at universities and the trend has been to move more towards access to the internet than the purchase of books. NSFAS stopped book vouchers for a number of reasons: Students have been the target of a voucher scam in various campuses; There were many commercial interests by merchants providing services to students at a fee using vouchers; Students were trading the book vouchers for cash outside many supermarkets; The voucher system was limited to selected merchants that monopolised the student market; There was no financial freedom for the students on where to purchase books, including second-hand retailers; The book allowance had increasingly been extended to a learning materials allowance that included laptops and tablets.
    In addition, the call to change book vouchers to cash was one of the many demands by the student leadership in South Africa, as part of their input in the policy governing the higher education student funding.

  • Fraud

  • What steps has NSFAS taken to combat the risk of fraud - specifically with regards to students' declaration of household income?

    NSFAS uses more than one source to verify family income. There is an integrated process with key credit bureau house that triangulates data across multiple sources to verify earnings. Applicants are required to submit proof of household income and declare on the application that the information provided is true and correct. NSFAS uses more than one source to verify household income. There is an integrated process with key credit bureau house that triangulates data across multiple sources to verify earnings for validity and accuracy.
    Household income regrading family income or personal income is also verified with South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) to ensure the validity and the accuracy of the income declared by the applicant.

  • How can I report fraud?
    Please call the Vuvuzela Fraud & Corruption hotline
    • Tel No.: 0860 247 653

    • Email: nsfas@thehotline.co.za

    • Fax2Email: 086 726 1681

    • SMS Call Back Number: 30916

    • www.thehotlineapp.co.za

    • www.thehotline.co.za

  • Repayments

  • I received a statement, the last payment I made does not reflect on my account statement?

    All direct deposits and transfers are made into our FNB bank account. Kindly ensure that you use your ID number as a reference number. Payments made by you into your NSFAS account will reflect within 72 days of making the payment. For ways to make payments email collections@nsfas.org.za

  • I am now working and would like to start paying my loan account?

    Repayments are based on your annual salary. If you earn R30 000 per year, you will have to pay 3% of your salary. This increase is equal to an additional 1% for every R6 600 you earn above R30 000 per annum. The maximum rate that you will pay is 8% when you earn R59 300. For ways to make repayments, email collections @nsfas.org.za

  • When do I start paying my student loan account?

    Repayment of your NSFAS study loan is only due once you have secured employment. If you received a study loan in 2017 and prior, an interest holiday of 12 months post exit date is applicable to student loan accounts. Send confirmation of employment to debtors@nsfas.org.za. Repayments are based on your annual salary. If you earn R30 000 per year, you will have to pay 3% of your salary. This increase is equal to an additional 1% for every R6 600 you earn above R30 000 per annum. The maximum rate that you will pay is 8% when you earn R59 300 per year.

  • How is the interest calculated on my loan?

    The current interest rate for this financial year is 4.2%. NSFAS financial year runs from April 01 to March 31, the following year. A debtor's status as studying or not studying is determined by the date of exit as captured in the system. The NSFAS interest rate is pegged at 80% of the repo rate and fluctuates in line with changes to the repo rate.

  • What will happen to loans owed to NSFAS by students who have already graduated?

    NSFAS has not received any commitment by government at this stage to write of any outstanding student debts. The free education pronouncement was clear that it will be effective starting from the 2018 academic year. As far as we are concerned, previous loans will still need to be paid back by those who benefited.

  • I have a refund due; how do I claim back my money?

    To claim a refund, you will need to fill out a refund form. The form must be stamped at the bank and completed with a valid bank account, registered under your ID number. Email the form to refunds@nsfas.org.za. Kindly note that your refund will be paid out within 21 days of having received the verified refund form. Should you require further assistance in this regard, please submit a query through NSFAS Connect.

  • How do you ensure that students pay back the money?

    Students sign a legally binding loan agreement contract to repay their loans. NSFAS also works with third party organisations (e.g SARS to track down NSFAS beneficiaries who are employed and earning more than R30 000 per year and make payment arrangements.

  • How much of the loan repayment assists in funding other students?

    Every cent of a loan repayment goes towards helping other students with funding.

  • How much time do students have to pay back their loans?

    No, time limit is given for repayment, since this is determined by the salary of the debtor, and his or her ability to repay. Those who are unemployed are not expected to repay.

  • No time limit is given for repayment, since this is determined by the salary of the debtor, and his or her ability to repay. Those who are unemployed are not expected to repay.

    Those who are unemployed are not expected to repay but must inform NSFAS whenever their employment status changes.

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