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Funds to help you graduate

Written by Bathandwa Mbola

Youth matters

Have you, or somebody you know, completed their university studies between 2000 to 2010? Were you unable to graduate and obtain your diploma or degree for the reason that you are still owing universities fees?

If you have answered yes, there is good news for you. The Department of Higher Education and Training has made R200 million to help you settle outstanding university fees you owe. The funds are administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Loan

However, this is not a bursary but a loan, which you will have to pay back once your financial situation improves.

Students have to apply at the university where the debt has been incurred. They have to follow the usual process for a NSFAS loan by going through the financial means test, which assesses the financial position of the beneficiary or family. Applicants must be South African citizens.

Supporting documents must be submitted with applications. These include certified copies of both the applicant and parents’ or guardian’s identity documents and proof of income for applicant, if working, or family member who is supporting the student.

Specific repayment terms will be set.

Who will be considered?

Students who passed their undergraduate diploma and with family income of less than R120 000 per year, will be considered first.

Thereafter, students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test and with a family income of between R120 000 and R250 000 per year will be considered. 

Honours students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test will be considered next, with those with a family income of between R120 000 and R250 000 to be considered if funds are available.

Finally, Masters and Doctoral students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test will be considered, followed by those Masters and Doctoral students whose family income is between R120 000 and R250 000, if funds are available.

Department of Higher Education and Training call centre: 0800 87 222 or 1020.