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Funding through NSFAS

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Become part of the fee-free higher education generation.
Article kindly supplied by NSFAS

At the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) we know that due to financial reasons, it is impossible for most young people from poor backgrounds to study further than their matric.

To solve this challenge, the South African government gave us the responsibility to ensure that you are given an opportunity to study at a public university or TVET College of your choice through a bursary.

The R350K threshold and what it means

This is the total annual income earned by the student’s family (spouse, mother, father or legal guardian) in the form of wages, salaries, pensions or other sources of income, including rental or business income. NSFAS funding threshold is R350 000 per annum for the first time entrants and R122 000 for students currently registered at university. Eligible students will be expected to provide proof of income of their parents or guardians in order to be assisted.

Applying for NSFAS bursary

Before you approach us, you need to apply for admission to study at a university, technikon or TVET college. This application process is completed with the institution of your choice directly. Financial assistance is only considered for students who have been accepted at a higher learning institution and meet all the requirements to study towards higher education.

Who qualifies?

The following is what we consider, for you to qualify for the bursary:

  • You are a South Africa citizen;
  • You are registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification at a public university or you are a registered at a public TVET College for one of the National Certificate (Vocational) or NATED Report 191 programmes;
  • Your combined annual household income does not exceed R350 000;
  • You are applying to study at a public university or TVET College for a qualification;
  • You are a SASSA grant recipient;
  • You are an already registered university student with an annual household income of less than R122 000 per year;
  • You need to have passed Grade 9 & 10 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET College; and
  • You need to have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university.

What we pay for

  • Registration
  • Tuition fee (Total cost of study)
  • Prescribed learning materials to a maximum set by NSFAS
  • Subsidised accommodation to a maximum set by NSFAS
  • Subsidised meal and book allowances
  • Subsidised transport allowance
  • Additional assistive devices, where necessary for students with disabilities

What we need from you

  • Your South African green bar-coded or Smart Card ID or birth certificate (preferably unabridged)
  • IDs of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate where applicable)
  • IDs of all people staying in your household
  • Pay advice/letter of employment or pension advice (not older than three months)
  • Complete disability questionnaire available at the NSFAS website

When can you apply for the bursary?

NSFAS will announce application period or dates every year before they open. These dates are usually communicated well in advance during the year before the one you are requesting funding for.

Other Bursaries provided through NSFAS

Social Worker Click here for more information or
Apply via or the Financial Aid Office of the University you want to study at.
Students with disabilities Apply at
Teaching Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme.
Apply at
Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) NSFAS manages a number of different bursaries from different SETAs. You can apply for these bursaries through NSFAS or the Financial Office of the University or TVET College you wish to study.





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