The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can confirm that by the 08th of February, 175 348 students have received financial aid to further their studies at any of the 26 public universities for 2017. This includes 67 875 first-entering students and 107 474 returning students. Although the NSFAS application closing date was 20th January, some universities are still in the process of concluding their examinations. We therefore expect these numbers of funded students to increase.
The Scheme worked tirelessly with the assistance of all the institutions of higher learning and the Department of Higher Education and Training, to ensure that the allocation of financial aid for first-time and returning students are allocated before the end of the academic registration period.
We have agreed with universities that while the allocation of grants to new students was a priority, the management of returning students must be coordinated to ensure that universities can immediately accept and register NSFAS returning students if they meet the following criteria:
- Received NSFAS financial aid in 2016;
- Satisfied the 50% module pass requirement for the 2016 academic year;
- Satisfy the N+2 completion requirement; and
- Signed their 2016 NSFAS agreement forms.
NSFAS has also communicated with at least 9 976 applicants whose applications were unsuccessful, as they did not meet the NSFAS financial eligibility criteria. Students who are unsuccessful may appeal by submitting the “Appeals Form” before a pre-determined closing date in order to be considered by the Appeals Committee. Details of the appeal can be found on the NSFAS website www.nsfas.org.za or 0860067327.