The NSFAS scheme ensures that students who cannot afford tertiary education are able to attend university. You may apply for an NSFAS bursary if you are studying at a private college/university or registered at a FET/TVET College. Once your application has been submitted, you will be informed whether it is a bursary or loan.

To begin with, you can only apply for a bursary and then once you qualify for the bursary, you can apply for a loan from the bank if needed.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government entity that falls under the Department of Higher Education and Training. NSFAS aims to provide funding support for students based on their financial needs.

Until 2017, the NSFAS operated as a loan and has now become a bursary scheme since 2018.

If any of the following applies to you then you qualify for this bursary:

  • South African citizen
  • SASSA grant recipients qualify for funding
  • Applicants whose combined household income is not more than R350 000 per annum
  • A person with a disability: Combined household income must not be more than R600 000 per annum
  • Students who started studying before 2018 whose household income is not more than R122 000 per annum.


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