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NSFAS 2024 applications open soon – here’s how to apply

  • NSFAS will open applications for students to receive funding for the 2024 academic year next week on 21st November.
  • Applications will close 31st January 2024 so make sure you apply early if you are interested in starting or continuing your studies with the help of NSFAS.
  • The scheme is set to embark on wide-ranging changes to its system before the 2024 academic year.

After a year of troubles and controversy stemming from the botched implementation of the direct payment system, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is set to continue its mandate and will begin accepting new applications from next week.

Applications are set to open on 21st November 2023 and close on 31st January 2024 ahead of the beginning of the next academic year. Despite challenges, the scheme is given a multi-billion Rand budget every year to ensure that underprivileged students can access higher education at universities and TVET colleges.

This year 1.1 million students were funded by NSFAS, and next year NSFAS hopes to continue supporting students who began studying this year, and new students emerging from the matric class of 2023.

In a statement published on Monday, NSFAS explains that the reason why its applications are opening in November is too allow beneficiaries more time to collect important information necessary for the process.

This year a host of methods were introduced to limit fraud, including the need to complete a financial eligibility assessment which requires updated personal tax information from the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

“NSFAS is awaiting SARS completion of its tax period and to enable NSFAS to have the necessary and updated information available during our application season. We encourage all students who wish to study in the post-school education and training sector higher education and training space to ensure that they apply on time,” the scheme said, per SA News.

“It is also important that students note that they don’t need results when they are entering post school education and training for the first time. Furthermore, NSFAS is engaged in conversation with the Department of Basic Education to improve the application validation processes including verifying parental relationships and all these improvements will ensure that funding decisions are confirmed timeously,” it added.

The scheme will continue making digital innovations to allow faster onboarding and acceptance of student beneficiaries.

These include the launch of a NSFAS mobile application which will come to iPhone devices first via iOS and then rollout to Android and finally to HUAWEI devices. The app will make the provision of personal information faster through a biometric process which will also be rolled out at a later date, sometime next year.

How to apply to receive funding from NSFAS in 2024

The following applies to the 2023 academic year, with all the changes currently happening at NSFAS, some of the information below may be obsolete. Before application, ensure that you meet the correct criteria, according to the Department of Higher Education:

  • “You are SASSA grant recipients or
  • Your combined household income is not more than R350 000 per year or
  • If you are a person living with a disability, your combined household income should not be more than R600 000 per year or
  • If you are a student who begun their university studies before 2018 and their household income is not more than R122 000 per year.”

To begin the application process digitally, first head to the official NSFAS website, here. After that, click on the MyNSFAS tab on the top right of the screen.

Now you will need to create a MyNSFAS account, which includes providing your name, an email address, mobile number, and ID number. Returning beneficiaries only need to log in with their previously given information.

After signing up, you will be able to click on the “APPLY” tab where you will be taken to a screen in which all relevant information must be provided. This includes the uploading of necessary documents to prove you meet the above criteria.

Make sure that you have the required documents, including a copy for your ID or birth certificate. A copy of the ID of your parent, spouse or guardian, a document that shows proof of income, or income of parents/guardians, or one year’s IRPS.

Remember, proof of income is not required if you are a SASSA grant beneficiary. You may also have to provide a Vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent Form, which must be completed and signed by yourself (as the student) if you are looking to be recognised as such by the Department of Social Development.

Finally, click submit when all the required information has been provided.

NSFAS has said that it will look to adjust and improve its payment system to ensure that all current flaws are ironed out in due time. This includes the establishment of a 24/7 call centre so that beneficiaries and applicants can receive adequate information when they need it.

Students will be able to track their application statuses and funding via WhatsApp on 078 519 8006, and USSD at *120*67327#.  

The NSFAS application process is stressful for many, and many more will not receive the information they need due to the enormous interest that the scheme receives every year. Make sure to apply early and ensure you have all the right documents miss out on any anxiety and stress.

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