The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has finally opened its much-anticipated window for funding applications to be submitted. But just how much time do applicants have to apply and send in their documents?
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) officially opened its 2024 application window on 28 September 2024.
The application period will close on the 31 January 2024.
The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, has stated that NSFAS is getting started earlier this year with applications to allow applicants enough time to submit all the required documentation.
Other changes were also discussed by the Minister during a recent briefing just before the application period officially opened; these changes are said to improve the application process as well as the implementation of the bursary scheme.
One of NSFAS’ most notable changes arrived in 2018, when the financial aid provider began supplying fully subsidized funding; previously, it was simply a student loan scheme.
Of these upcoming changes, includes the fact that universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges usually open in late January/early February, but the financial year only begins in April.
Work is being done with the National Treasury to align the Post School Education and Training (PSET) calendar with the government funding calendar, to make sure NSFAS has reserved funds ahead of when institutions reopen.
NSFAS will then be able to have money ready before the academic year begins, in order to fund qualifying students if these changes are implemented.
NSFAS has also developed additional channels of application, through a mobile app, USSD, and WhatsApp.
Through these channels, applicants can also track and cancel their applications.
The Minister believes that the bursary scheme will have an impact for many decades into the future, including breaking general poverty in families around the country.