Bridge Insights: Funding > National Student Financial Aid – Scheme (NSFAS)

This term, we will share insights on the National Student Financial Aid (NSFAS). Our series will cover key lessons that we have learnt over the years as we have assisted thousands of learners in applying for this funding scheme.

Important Disclaimer: NSFAS has already opened applications from 1 November 2021 and will be closing on 7 January 2022

1: What is NSFAS?

NSFAS is a government entity under the Department of Higher Education and Training established that is set up to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who wish to further their studies at public universities or TVET colleges

2: Who qualifies for NSFAS?

This academic 4th term, NSFAS is expected to open for applications for learners who will be starting tertiary education in 2022. NSFAS is the government, financial needs-based funding that is accessible to qualifying South African families with a household income of less than R350 000, and less than R600 000 for families with children living with disabilities. 

To be eligible for NSFAS funding, the learner must be a South African citizen or hold a permanent residency. It is essential also to note that NSFAS only funds public higher learning institutions and not private institutions.

Based on the 2021 application process and requirements, if a learner is a SASSA beneficiary, he/she meets the requirements of the financial means test for NSFAS approval.


3: What happens if I give NSFAS false information?

Historically, NSFAS has defunded families who have falsified household income as their systems are linked to third party systems like SARS to determine the actual household income; please consider this important fact as you think about the application process; see article: .

Over the years, we have learnt that NSFAS also has an appeal process should an application be rejected based on the changes in family household incomes that might not have been anticipated. While we will still be providing information and lessons learnt from working with the NSFAS system, it is still important to note that the primary source of information and the final decisions on who is funded primarily sits with NSFAS. This is also important to note as there are many scams that start during this time of the year, fronting as NSFAS. Consider these Blogs as friendly information sharing pieces that are trying to assist with some challenges that learners generally face during this application period; as such, we will always consult with NSFAS where there are changes and where there are areas we are also not sure about to give you the best and most accurate information.

4: What does NSFAS cover?

Follow the topic > Bridge Insights: Funding for more information during the course of this year.