The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has announced a milestone in terms of applications for students looking to study in 2021. Right now the total number of applications is at 493 904, but that has likely increased in the few hours since the announcement was made.
The last time NSFAS shared this number was back in early October when the applications surpassed 300 995. An additional 192 909 – almost two hundred thousand – applications in a single month is rather impressive.
These massive numbers aren’t too surprising, however, when you consider that more than a million students have begun the Matric exams today. The 2020 class is the largest public examination that South Africa has ever seen.
NSFAS has also provided a breakdown of the applications by province, gender, race and SASSA status. which you can see below:
Commenting on this milestone is Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Doctor Blade Nzimande who congratulated NSFAS on the achievement.
His announcement reveals that the 493 904 is almost double the number of applications (287 769) when compared to the same period in 2019. Again this really speaks to how large the class of 2020 is.
“We remain highly grateful to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for their continuous support and partnership. NYDA centres and Teacher’s Centres across the country will remain operational as NSFAS application centres throughout the application cycle. We would like to encourage applicants to use these centres,” Nzimande adds.
While applying in person is one option students are also encouraged to apply online by way of the NSFAS site. While this is the safer way to do things during the pandemic it may not be possible for many students due to access to devices and data.
Applications to NSFAS will close at the end of this month – 30th November. This leaves a few weeks for students to apply for funding to study in 2021. The Matric exams, which began today on 5th November, will continue until 15th December. Results from these exams will be released on 22nd January 2021.