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2021-2022 NSFAS Application for Universities in South Africa

NSFAS Application for Universities and Colleges in South Africa

NSFAS Application

National Student Financial Aid Scheme NSFAS Online Application 2021-2022

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme famous as NSFAS serves as a bursary program providing financial assistance necessary for learners to attain their career dreams. The scheme offers fully subsidized training programs and free higher education to both financially challenged and working-class South Africans. Who qualifies for NSFAS? The plan is exclusively available for eligible applicants who satisfy the NSFAS requirements discussed below.



The core mission of the scheme cuts across three main elements, which include providing financial assistance to learners from poor and working-class families interested in enrolling in public universities and TVET colleges. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme essentially identifies eligible learners and awards them with bursaries for their enrolled programmes. As such, the scheme also collects past student loans in the view of financing new students. Most importantly, the scheme supports new applicants who are unable to afford further education regardless of their financial potential. Read on for National Student Financial Aid Scheme requirements before enrolling and accessing the scheme funding.

What is needed when applying for NSFAS?

Although the NSFAS application for the 2020 academic year is already closed, you can prepare for the next intake by understanding that there are several qualifications which applicants must satisfy before submitting their applications. It is also essential to keep track of important dates and stay up to date with NSFAS notifications. NSFAS bursary and financial aid are exclusively open for South African citizens willing to further their studies and satisfy the following conditions:

  • Only applicants with a combined annual household income of less than R350,000 annually are acceptable for subsidized study enrollments.
  • SASSA grant recipients who are first-time registrants for undergraduate qualifications at a public university or TVET College.
  • Those who have excelled in Grade 9 and 10 and require financial aid from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to study at TVET college.
  • First-time registrants for an undergraduate qualification at a public university or already registered at a TVET college for one of the National Certificate Vocational or the report 191 programmes.
  • SASSA grant recipients that are already studying at a TVET college or public universities and registered before this year for different qualifications.
  • Already registered University learners with combined annual household income not exceeding R122,000 annually.
  • Learners who have already passed grade 12 to receive the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding for university studies

When making your applications, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will grant you an option of applying for DHET funding. It is also necessary to complete the consent forms as a part of the requirements. It is vital to clear all the credit checks in time for NSFAS to verify all the household income values.

In the qualifications, non-south African students should not apply because the National Student Financial Aid Scheme receives local learners only. Prospective learners should also realize that they stand a chance to receive bursaries only after successfully receiving an enrollment. Applications for financial aid should also be completed within an acceptable period. Before starting your applications, consult the student support offices for necessary assistance as pertaining to opening an account with myNSFAS Self Service portal.



You have to submit the copies of the supporting documents. For 2020 application, NFSA required the following supporting documents.


Application for this bursary is relatively simple and can be done online or in person. Students who want to apply online should visit nsfas.org.za and fill out the online application form after creating a “my nsfas Account”. Details on how to do this can be found here: NSFAS Online Application Procedure.

If you are interested in applying in person, then visit any NYDA center and pick an application form. Completed forms are to be submitted to NSFAS directly as tertiary institutions are not responsible for processing your application. Details can be found here:

Special care must be taken to ensure the forms are correctly filled, and all necessary documents attached. Failure to do this may result in a rejected application.

A. Before applying you should have decided which course you want to study and at which public university/TVET college. You will need to select these choices in the application form.

B. Make sure you have electronic (and certified copies) of the following:

  • Your South African identity document/card or, an unabridged birth certificate
  • IDs of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate where applicable)
  • IDs of each person living with you in your home
  • Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice (not older than three months)
  • Please download the consent form and fill it in with your parent/guardian’s signatures. Applications without a consent form that is signed by all people whose incomes have been declared in the application will not be accepted, and will be considered as incomplete.
  • If you have a disability, please download the Disability Annexure A and fill it in

C. When you provide your cell phone number on the application form, make sure it works and please do not change it afterwards, as NSFAS will use it to communicate with you during and after the application process. Please do not provide someone else’s cell phone number as your contact number.

You will also need an email address. If you do not have an email address, you can easily create a gmail address.

D. You must not apply if:
– You have already applied and have an application reference number
– You are not intending to apply for admission to a public university or TVET college
– You already have NSFAS funding for 2020
– You are not a South African citizen

E. For postgraduate studies, only students who plan to do the following postgraduate qualification may apply:
1. B Tech – Architecture/Architectural Technology
2. B Tech – Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology
3. Postgraduate Certificate in Education
4. Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, and
5. LLB


Students are reminded to adhere to the NSFAS requirements and to also ensure that all details submitted during their application are correct and without errors. This is because misinformation and missing documents will greatly reduce ones chances of getting approved. Secondly, NSFAS will not be held liable for any errors you make, students are therefore encouraged to double check before submitting.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is a loan and bursary scheme operating in terms of Act 56 of 1999 and funded by the National Department of Education. NSFAS has been established to assist academically deserving and financially needy South African students to achieve their academic goals at tertiary institutions. It offers low interest rates and up to 40% of the value of the loan will be converted into a bursary should the student pass all courses registered in the year funding was obtained. Who qualifies?

  • South African citizens
  • A financially needy student
  • A student who demonstrates potential for academic success
  • A student registered at a South African university/technikon, studying for a first tertiary educational qualification
  • A student studying for a second tertiary qualification if it will enable the student to practice in a chosen profession eg HDE

Click here for the NSFAS Online Application Procedure

How much can a student get:

NSFAS determines the minimum and maximum award annually. Please enquire at the Financial Aid office for the current limits. A person will, however, be expected to make a contribution towards the total cost of your studies, i.e Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The size of the award is determined by the family income, according to the NSFAS Means Test.

Where to apply:

Application forms are obtainable from the Financial Aid Office.

Closing dates:

  • Registered students: Mid October
  • First year students: Mid March

Documents which should accompany the application forms:

  • Certified copy of ID document /passport of student / mother / father /guardian / wife /husband
  • Original / certified copy of pay- slips / pension slip for both parents/guardian /spouse (these should not be older than three (3) months)
  • In the case of deceased parents, attach certified death Certificates
  • If parents are divorced, attach a copy of the decree of divorce
  • If parents / guardian / spouse are self-employed, attach a copy of the latest financial statement
  • If parents are unemployed, attach sworn affidavits accompanied by a report from a social worker , religious leader /traditional leader or Council
  • An amount for income must be provided on all affidavits
  • If parents are separated, attach pay-slips of both and an official letter from the social worker or religious leader confirming the separation
  • Certified copy of previous degree or diploma certificate
  • If you are currently in in-service training, attach pay – slip or provide the University with proof from your employer stating whether your study leave is paid or unpaid
  • ID copies / birth certificates or letters from school of other family members
  • Proof of registration for sibling at other tertiary institutions