With the 2020 Matric exam results now released, students are either waiting for universities to offer them placement, or for funding to be made available for their studies. In South Africa it’s common that the funding comes from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), but it seems to be dragging its heels as #NSFAS does the rounds on local Twitter.
The hashtag, which is nearing three thousand tweets at the time of writing, features many students frustrated by the fact that they have applied to NSFAS, but have not received word back from the organisation yet. This has left them in an unfortunate state of limbo as many universities have either started the academic year already or will do so soon.
NSFAS, for its part, issues a statement last week congratulating the Matric class, but noted an “unprecedented number of applications” for this year.
“Approximately 730,000 online applications were received and additionally, approximately 60,000 applications were received through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college walk-in process. We are currently finalising the due diligence and quality checks of the application information received. We will communicate funding results once the verification and quality assurance processes are complete, in order to ensure the credibility of this important process,” the statement reads.
Despite this large amount of applications NSFAS added that it would communicate its decisions before the registration windows of universities would close.
Aside from the general unease created from not knowing if funding is in place, students are also having trouble with the NSFAS website.
“Sorry for the long wait time, we are experiencing high volumes of traffic on this page. Click close below to continue,” a popup message on the site states.
For those who do receive their decision from NSFAS, and are unfortunately rejected, see how story here on steps you can take to appeal.
Depression is killing me. Not knowing if you’re funded or not. The institution won’t even allow us to register. Saze sakufela ukungabi nabazali abanemali 😢💔💔#NSFAS
— Yolly Yolz (@YollyYolz1) March 2, 2021
Last year when I was doing matric I thought y’all were overreacting about #NSFAS but now I am currently experiencing their shit and this is so stressful,
— Sammy Ntjabane (@litshila) March 2, 2021
— Germany🇿🇦 (@ammydadson) March 2, 2021
I wish NSFAS could respond to the students of unisa and finalise their registration because the registration period is now closing. #NSFAS
— Sipho Mate🇿🇦 (@sipho_mate) March 2, 2021
#NSFAS Hle, registrations are closing soon and we’re not given any feedback… I’m so worried 😭😭😭 I will not spend another year doing the same thing 💔
— Queen Boitu👑💎👄 (@Pineapp93277459) March 2, 2021