Applicants have been given a lifeline to apply for the 2022 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) programme.
Nsfas announced on Thursday that the application deadline has been extended to 21 January for eligible students to apply for this academic year.
“[Nsfas] would like to notify all learners, out of school youth, and non-funded students, that after consulting with various stakeholders, the deadline for applications for the student financial aid has been extended to 22 January,” the body confirmed in a statement.
The previous deadline was Friday, 7 January.
Applicants have been urged to apply before the application deadline as there will no further extension.
To date, Nsfas have received more than 600,000 applications.
“The applications were received from applicants who intend to further their post-school education at any of the 50 TVET colleges and 26 public universities. At least 505,820 are first-time applicants.”
More than 180,000 applicants, Nsfas further indicated, were confirmed for funding instantly.
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.
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