Nov 2019 2nd Edition

Deadline looms for 2020 NSFAS applications

There are less than 23 days for students to apply for assistance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the 2020 academic year.

Applications for eligible learners will officially close at midnight on 30 November 2019.

NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, said since the application cycle opened, the scheme has received a total of 287 769 applications nationwide.

“The number of applications from students who intend to study at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges is steadily improving from the previous low of 23 001 in October to 37 132 by Monday, 4 November.

“A total of 145 190 applications have been received from South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) beneficiaries. Students with disability are encouraged to take this opportunity and apply for funding. The NSFAS Disability Fund provides funding and support for students with disability, and 775 applications were received from students with disabilities,” Carolissen said.

KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Limpopo remain in the lead of provinces with the most applications. A total of 85 367 applications have been received from KwaZulu-Natal, 58 950 from Gauteng and 46 043 from Limpopo.

“Statistics from these three provinces have been consistent for the past application cycles. There has been a significant shift in numbers throughout all provinces. This was due to the outreach and roadshows that we embarked on,” Carolissen said.

NSFAS is consistently engaging with various local ad provincial governments where there are low numbers of applications received.

These engagements will allow NSFAS to provide support where necessary in order to assist qualifying students with access to facilities.

“NSFAS considers each application that we receive. When processing an application, we validate information with the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Social Development, thereby getting a complete profile of an applicant and family.

“We take into consideration the total household family income, Home Affairs and social welfare status, higher education or admission status. Information about your school and local municipality plays a crucial role in the 2020 application system,” Carolissen explained.

To be eligible for NSFAS funding for university and TVET college studies, applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen.
  • Intend to enrol at any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges in 2020.
  • Come from a family with a combined annual household income of not more than R350 000 per annum.
  • Students with a disability from a family with a combined income of not more than R600 000 per annum. (Students with disabilities and students who are SASSA beneficiaries and those who are supported by parents who receive social grants automatically qualify for NSFAS, provided they fall within the set threshold.)
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the NSFAS grant or bursary awarded.

You will need the following supporting documents:

  • Certified copy of your ID, not older than 3 months.
  • A signed and completed consent form (Downloaded from our website).

If you are a SASSA recipient, please provide:

  • A signed and completed consent form.

If you are dependent on your parents/guardian/spouse, please provide:

  • Certified ID copies of parent/s, guardian, spouse not older than three months.
  • Proof of income of parent, guardian or spouse (payslip or appointment letter).

If you are self-sufficient and employed please provide:

  • Proof of income (payslip or appointment letter)
  • IRP5 certificates for the past three years.

If you have a disability, please provide:

  • Completed and signed Disability Annexure A (if your information is not pre-populated on the portal) downloaded from the NSFAS website.

If you are an orphan please provide:

  • Orphan Declaration and Consent Form.

Other documents required, if applicable:

  • Retrenchment letter.
  • Death certificate/s.
  • Divorce decree.

The 2020 applications are done online through the myNSFAS portal (, where students can submit their applications using their smartphones or computer.

To apply, an applicant needs to create a myNSFAS account on the NSFAS website, or use their social media accounts, Facebook and/or Google.

Applicants with an existing account can sign in using their usernames and password or Facebook/Google accounts. –

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