Requirements of NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a bursary scheme established by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) IN 2017. The aim of the NSFAS is to provide poor and working-class South African students with fully subsidised free higher education and training. It does this by providing financial aid to these students so they can undertake studies at public universities and TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) colleges. This financial aid can include tuition fees, accommodation, transport, living allowance, book allowance, and incidental/personal care allowance. Giving you the financial support to better your education.

Naturally, as they provide financial aid the NSFAS has certain requirements that need to be met before they provide any aid. This is why we decided to take a look at what the requirements of NSFAS are, allowing you to see if you qualify for their assistance. We will also take a look at what documents you will need, and how a first-time applicant can apply. We hope this will assist you to determine if you qualify for financial aid from the NSFAS, and how you can start the process to receive it.

Requirements of NSFAS

There are certain minimum requirements of NSFAS that all applicants must meet to qualify for financial aid. These requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be a South African citizen
  • Applicants must be studying or intend to study towards an undergraduate qualification in 2023 (or the year following their application)
  • Applicants must be studying or intending to study at a public tertiary education institution (University or TVET college) within South Africa
  • Applicants must not have completed any previous tertiary qualifications
  • Applicants must fall into at least one of the following categories:
  1. The applicant is a SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) grant, recipient
  2. The applicant has a total combined household income not exceeding R350 000 per annum
  3. The applicant is living with a disability and has a total combined household income not exceeding R600 000 per annum
  4. The applicant started studying before 2018 and has a total combined household income not exceeding R122 000 per annum

These requirements of NSFAS must be met by all applicants for them to be considered to receive financial aid.

What documents do you need to submit for NSFAS?

As with any bureaucratic application, there are certain documents you will need to provide. These documents are used to confirm your identity and ensure that you meet the requirements of NSFAS. The documents you need to complete your NSFAS application are as follows:

  • The applicant’s cellphone number and email address
  • A copy of the applicant’s ID or birth certificate
  • Copies of the IDs of the applicant’s parents, guardian or spouse (or death certificate where applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (Where applicable)
  • Applicant’s proof of income or 1 year’s IRP5 (if applicable)
  • Proof of income for the applicant’s parents, guardian or spouse (if the applicant is a SASSA grant recipient, no proof of income is required)
  • Applicants living with a disability must submit a signed and completed Disability Annexure A Form
  • Applicants recognised as vulnerable children by the Department of Social Development must provide a completed and signed vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent Form

If you are applying for the NSFAS bursary be sure that you have all of the above-mentioned documentation on hand. In order to ensure your application is as easy as possible.

How to apply for NSFAS

If you meet all of the requirements of NSFAS and have all of the required documentation ready. You may be wondering how you actually apply for NSFAS. Fortunately, applications are easily done online in 8 simple steps. These steps are as follows:

  1. Visit the NSFAS website at
  2. Next, you click on the “myNSFAS” tab in the top right corner
  3. First-time applicants will need to create a myNSFAS account
  4. Once you have your myNSFAS account and are logged in click on the “Apply” tab
  5. Next, you answer all the questions that will come up on your screen
  6. Ensure that all of your personal information is accurate and up to date
  7. Then upload all of the required supporting documents
  8. Finally, click on “Submit” to send off your application for review

Applications to the NSFAS have never been easier thanks to the online portal. It takes at most 30 days for NSFAS to approve an application. Fortunately, you can check your application status on their website as well. Once you are approved for NSFAS funding the bursary will provide financial aid until you complete your degree provided you continue to meet the academic requirements.

Education is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life and the NSFAS strives to provide access to higher education for all. We hope this article has helped you to better understand the requirements of NSFAS and how you can access this financial aid. Allowing you to take the first step towards the life you’ve always dreamed of.

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