The cycle for the 2022 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) applications is due to open for eligible students next week, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande has announced.
Nzimande launched the Nsfas funding applications for the 2022 academic year on Thursday morning, where he revealed that the application system would open next Tuesday on 2 November.
The applications will close on 7 January 2022 when the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results are released.
“The application season has previously been opened from September to November annually.
“This was to allow students to apply well in advance before the upcoming academic year, but most importantly to allow Nsfas to process these applications in time, before the approaching academic year starts and to give students time to submit missing supporting documents if necessary.
“I am aware that there has been some concern about the perceived late opening of applications in 2021. However, I would like to reassure you that this will, in no way, disadvantage those who seek Nsfas support for their post-school studies,” he said during a media briefing.
The minister said the application process would be also open to students who are already enrolled at institutions, but are without funding and qualify financially for Nsfas funding.
Students – South African citizens or permanent residents – who qualify for Nsfas funding need to fall within one or more of the below categories:
- South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant recipients. However, the Covid-19 grant does not count.
- Persons whose combined household income is not more than R350,000 per year.
- Persons living with disabilities with a combined household income not more than R600,000 per annum.
Nsfas funding is available for any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges.
Which documents are needed?
Students who are eligible for funding are required to have supporting documents when submitting their applications.
These documents are important in ensuring that Nsfas processes funding applications in time for registration at an institution of higher learning.
Nsfas will need the following:
- All applicants must provide a copy of ID. Note that a temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs will be accepted with the application.
- Non-Sassa applicants must provide ID copies of parent or legal guardian.
- Smart ID cards – A copy with both sides of the smart ID must be provided
- Proof of income – Applicants, parents or legal guardian (where applicable, non-Sassa) should provide latest payslip not older three months, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) letter, appointment letter or retrenchment letter.
Applicants must also take note that no affidavits will be accepted as proof for any funding requirement.
How and where to apply
Students can apply online via the Nsfas website using a cellphone, tablet or computer.
Follow these steps to apply:
- Step 1 – Go to www.nsfas.org.za and click on the ‘myNSFASab
- Step 2 – Create a myNSFAS account
- Step 3 – Click on the ‘APPLY’ tab and answer the questions on the screen
- Step 4 – Upload the required supporting documents then click on ‘submit’
If applicants do not have a digital device or access to the internet, they can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) or Thusong Centre to follow the above-mentioned steps.
Prospective students are urged to apply to institutions via their application processes for a study place, as funding is only offered to students who are eligible for funding from Nsfas and who obtain a firm place to study in an approved programme at a public institution.
What does the Nsfas funding cover?
According to the Nsfas, the provided financial support to disadvantaged students will cover for:
- Accommodation – As per the actual costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation must not exceed costs for university residence)
- Transport (up to 40km from institution) – R7,500 per annum
- Living allowance – R15,000 per annum
- Book allowances – R5,200 per annum
- Incidental/personal care allowance – R2,900 per annum for students in catered residences
- Accommodation in an urban area – R24,000 per annum
- Accommodation in an peri-urban area – R18,900 per annum
- Accommodation in an rural area – R15,750 per annum
- Transport (up to 40km from institution) – R7,350 per annum
- Transport – R7,000 per annum
- Incidental/personal care allowance – R2,900 per annum