Student life is one of the best phases, especially for undergraduate students. Everyone dreams of getting higher education from top-level universities within or out of the city. It’s a fact that not all students can pay the fee, or parents can’t afford higher education due to hundreds of educational expenses. South Africa is one of the poor countries where people can’t even afford food. How can they bear educational expenses?
Keeping everything in mind, the Govt. of South Africa has initiated a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to support deserving students pursuing university education. The aim is to expand the education circle to struggling families. They aid students who can’t afford to attend universities, vocational educational fees, and technical institutes expenses.
It’s good news that NSFAS online applications are open. Check your eligibility online with an NSFAS status check with a click. This guide addresses the NSFAS program, its eligibility, how to apply, status check, and everything you need to know right now. So, please stick to the blog to learn more about it.
What Is NSFAS: Overview
NSFAS is an international student financial aid scheme for poor citizens of South Africa who can’t afford higher education. Primarily, the program is designed to assist undergraduate students in compensating for their tertiary education just after finishing school. The Department of Higher Education and Training bears the total expenses and manages everything under this program.
Amazingly, it was started in 1996, and more than 399 employees currently handle the overall program. The qualifiers get a gorgeous stipend covering the university expenses. Moreover, it also includes loan repayments, which need to be paid back to the government of South Africa in installments. Similarly, the third category is free subsidies for higher education, where the students get a wave for certain university expenses.
NSFAS Application Online Portal
The Govt. of South Africa always tries to assist the candidates; therefore, they always embrace digital advancement. Keeping the digital-era demands in mind, they have initiated a dedicated online portal. Everyone can use it on a mobile or a laptop with an active internet connection. It’s accessible via the NSFAS official website.
Furthermore, it requires signing up using a unique username, strong password, and personal details. The portal is user-friendly; even a newbie can apply for NSFAS funds online through an online application process within a few steps. The aim is to keep everything smooth, easily accessible, and intuitive.
NSFAS Online Registration Dates For 2023-24
If you anxiously await to apply for financial aid for your higher education in South Africa. The good news is that the NSFAS online applications for 2023-2024 are open. Everyone is encouraged to apply within the specified timeframe. Submissions must be on time to be considered. The application dates are:
- NSFAS applications starting date: 28 September 2023
- Closing Date: 31 January 2024
NSFAS Application Status – Evaluation Procedure
Before applying, it’s necessary to understand the procedure. It makes things easier and is of utmost importance. After submission, different status codes appear beside your application, namely submitted, validation, etc. Below we have explained all these terms for your ease.
● Application Submitted
Signing up on the NSFAS portal and entering details about the upcoming financial aid program means you have applied to the NSFAS system. Remember that it’s different from signing up for the portal because you enter some personal details while performing both operations.
Verifying your documents and submitted details from third parties such as SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) and the Department of Home Affairs is necessary. If you are a SASSA beneficiary, it will help in your selection. Therefore, if you have issues like name or any other personal detail, updating it before submitting the online application form is recommended.
Filtering is important because they don’t want you to come back again and again to get educational assistance. Therefore, your application is passed through a certain filtering procedure to verify your record. Remember that if you are already getting financial assistance from NSFAS or any organization, you are not eligible to be funded by NSFAS.
● Funding Eligibility
If you belong to a deserving family with having low income, you will be eligible for educational funding. The authority will verify your home’s financial status. Usually, if your home income is less than R350,000, you are eligible for NSFAS assistance. Similarly, if you have any disability at home, the household earnings should not be more than R600,000 for eligibility.
Evaluation means the authorities verify everything, like your entered personal details, your submitted documents, and everything in the application.
● Awaiting Registration
NSFAS requires data to be verified from your institution for a bursary agreement. Therefore, receiving confirmation from your chosen institution takes time, and you are put on a waiting list.
● Awaiting Academic Results
NSFAS requires you to check your eligibility for further admissions, such as marks, grades, subjects, and other details. After confirmation, NSFAS forwards your admission to the most relevant institute, and you have to wait.
The next step is to sign an agreement between the institution, the candidate, and NSFAS officials. It’s a further step after the verification of your documents, your household income, and all other eligibility criteria.
NSFAS has a special payment system for eligible candidates. The candidate has an individual NSFAS wallet system for secure payments. Similarly, you can also receive payments from your institute. For updates, we recommend you visit and check your NSFAS portal for all updates.
How To Apply For NSFAS Online 2023-2024?
Do you want to continue your education with the NSFAS 2023-24 fund but don’t know how to apply online? Sign up for the NSFAS portal and follow the steps below:
- First, go to NSFAS official website or open the URL at www.nsfas.org.za
- Create an account or sign in if you already have an account.
- On the portal, click Apply. You can easily find this option under the admissions tab or home page.
- Enter all the required details. Ensure the entered details are up to date and accurate to your knowledge.
- Further, upload the supporting documents by scanning them in high quality.
- Verify all the details and click Submit.
- Congrats! Your NSFAS application has been submitted successfully.
Necessary Documents For NSFAS 2023-24 Online Application
Before starting the application procedure, you should prepare all the required documents. NSFAS has uploaded a list of required documents as mentioned below:
- A copy of your birth certificate or your valid national identity card.
- You should have a personal phone number (in your name) and a valid email.
- A copy of the guardian, parents, or spouse’s identity card.
- Income proof of your parents, guardian, or spouse.
- A copy of your income as proof of IRP5 for the past 5 years.
- A copy of Disability Annexure A form (completed) and signed by the disabled person and the applicant.
- A filled form for child declaration.
NSFAS Status Check – Easy Methods
NSFAS always tries to assist candidates throughout the application process. If you have applied for the NSFAS education fund and want to know the status, you are at the right spot. We have listed all the possible ways for NSFAS status checks in the following.
It’s the easiest way to check your application status using an ID number from the portal. For this purpose:
- Open the NSFAS official website or portal.
- Log in to the portal using your username and password.
- After signing in, find the option for “Track Funding Progress.”
- After clicking on it, enter the ID number, and your application status will be visible on the screen.
Note: If you have any issues logging into the student portal, you can use your ID number instead of your username to log in without errors.
Here are the simple steps to check your NSFAS 2023-2024 application status via your reference number.
- Open the NSFAS official website at www.nsfas.org.za on a mobile or web browser.
- Go to the top right corner and click the “MYNSFAS Account.”
- Sign in with your NSFAS account.
- Locate the option “Check Status” or “Application Status.” The option is usually located under the My Funding Applications tab.
- Now enter your application’s reference number in the available space.
- Click the “Submit” or “Check Status” button to check the application status.
- Congrats! The application status will be shown on the screen.
Facts About NSFAS In 2010-23
The funding program brings a few amazing facts for the candidates, such as:
- If you are enrolled in the NSFAS fund after 2018, you don’t need to repay the organization after completing your studies.
- In a year, NSFAS gives the stipend weekly to the students for 10 months. (Including all allowances)
- You can take admission in your thirties or fifties; that’s a plus.
- It’s started to boost tertiary education in South Africa.
- Amazingly, more than 690,000 students will get funds from NSFAS.
Benefits of NSFAS For Students
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme brings a lot of benefits for candidates from South Africa to help them grow in higher education. Check out the important benefits covering the following expenses below.
- University Tuition Fee: If a student is hardworking and good at all the subjects within the course duration, the NSFAS program will cover the university tuition fee with a vocational training facility.
- Transport Expenses: If you live 40 km or more from the university, you can receive transport expenses, almost R10,000 per year.
- Accommodation: NSFAS provides residence to remote students but does not provide private accommodation funds. If the number of students exceeds, the university will bear the accommodation expenses.
- Book Allowance: Do you want to get books for the whole year? NSFAS will provide R5,000 to each student to buy stationery and books.
- Living Allowance: A student has other expenses too. Therefore, the NSFAS authorities provide R14,400 per year to each student for living expenses.
Downsides of NSFAS
Undoubtedly, NSFAS assists thousands of people in getting higher education if they belong to a poor family. Besides, it has some drawbacks, which are necessary to discuss here. Most importantly, the program is only for some; it only serves candidates from low-income families from backward areas.
Similarly, NSFAS provides admissions to undergraduate and postgraduate students under certain degrees only. It’s not fixed whether you will get admission in your chosen subject or not. Last but not least, the orphan candidates have to sign a secondary document to get educational assistance.
NSFAS is one of the best education assistance schemes by the government of South Africa. Remember the NSFAS online application status 2023-24 application criteria and prepare all the documents before applying. The program offers a lot of benefits, such as covering tuition fees, transport expenses, and more. Moreover, it’s easy to get updated by NSFAS status check by your ID or reference number. We hope you will find this guide helpful for the NSFAS educational aid program. Apply for NSFAS online now and get higher education even if you belong to a poor family.