NSFAS to pay tertiary institutes R6.2 billion to start the year

  • NSFAS is set to make an upfront payment of R6.2 billion to universities and TVET colleges across the country as the 2023 academic year begins.
  • This is part of a larger R47.6 billion allocated by government for student funding in 2023.
  • So far 613 909 students have provisionally been awarded NSFAS funding out of over a million applicants.

With applications for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) closing today, no more hopeful students are to be eligible for the scheme’s financing until much later in the year. Today also marks the day that applicants will find out if they are accepted or not by the scheme.

This does not mean that there aren’t any more ways to find financial aid for your studies as there are plenty of South African companies, entities and institutions that are offering bursary programmes.

While these programmes could finance all if not most aspects of your studies, none are spending as much as NSFAS on student aid.

Today, NSFAS chairperson Ernest Khoza revealed that NSFAS will be paying various universities and technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges R6.2 billion upfront to begin the 2023 academic year.

It will cover tuition, food, stationary and textbooks, accommodation, a monthly stipend and more for the thousands of students awarded funding by the scheme.

This sum is only a small part of the R47.6 billion that government, namely the Department of Higher Education and Training, has set aside to fund qualifying students who have enrolled for higher education, be it at a university or a TVET college.

Of the 1 587 969 applicants that petitioned NSFAS for funding, 613 909 students have qualified and will be awarded provisional funding. Of these, 338 320 are continuing students and 275 589 are new applicants. 

“About 149 202 are on awaiting academic eligibility. According to the NSFAS Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Financial Aid, students must attain the prescribed academic success in order to continue to receive financial aid from NSFAS,” added Khoza.

“A total of 273 746 applications are awaiting evaluation. NSFAS received more than 1.6 million applications, [which] is the highest number received in the history of NSFAS.”

This year marked a few other changes for NSFAS and the department’s endeavours to finance students. One of these changes is a marked focus towards pushing students towards TVET colleges.

Higher Education minister Blade Nzimande said last week that all qualifying students who have been admitted to public TVET colleges and universities on the Department of Higher Education’s bursary scheme will be funded.

If you have applied for NSFAS and still don’t know your status, you can check out newly launched platforms such as the NSFAS WhatsApp portal or make use of its newly launched USSD number.

Adding the number +27 78 519 8006 will allow you to check your application status on WhatsApp, while simply dialling 12067327# and following the instructions will grant access to the USSD.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay] [Source – SA News]


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