When NSFAS funding applications opened in 2024, thousands of students applied hoping to have their studies funded by the government bursary. However, some applicants had their applications declined for a number of reasons.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, welcomed media members to a briefing on the opening of 2024 NSFAS applications.
During the briefing, Minister Blade Nzimande stated that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) had a R43 billion budget for the 2024 academic year. According to Nzimande, NSFAS received 985 672 applicants for the 2024 application process.
However, approximately 140 636 applicants were unsuccessful during the application process.
Here are the reasons why these students were declined:
- Students failed to provide enough evidence or the correct documentation to support their application.
- They exceeded the financial eligibility threshold (Students should have a combined household income of less than R350 000 per year and persons with disabilities should have a combined household income of no more than R600 000 per year.)
- Students who already received an undergraduate degree.
- They exceeded the N+ rule. The N+ rule states that bursary students are awarded an extra year of financial support if they fail one year.
Minister Nzimande said that 739 526 applications were provisionally funded while their registration data was pending from their tertiary institutions. Roughly 708 147 applicants currently receive funding from NSFAS.
NSFAS also provided real-time responses to students who were beneficiaries of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants. About 287 217 students who were Sassa beneficiaries received instant approvals for the NSFAS bursary.
In the 2024 academic year, more than 60% of university students and around 90% of TVET College students are funded by the bursary scheme. Applications for the 2024 academic year are currently open.
Students interested in applying for the bursary will need to first ensure that they meet the bursary application requirements. The NSFAS bursary criteria are listed below:
- South African citizen who plans to study in 2024 or are already studying.
- Sassa grant recipients qualify immediately.
- Combined household income of less than R350 000 per year.
- Persons living with Disability: Combined household income threshold is R600 000 or less.
- Students who began studying before 2018, with a combined household income of less than R122 000 per year.
Students will need to apply online via the NSFAS website. They will also need to compile the necessary documents to be eligible for the bursary.