Jan 2022 edition

NSFAS funding deadline looms

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

Students and youth from disadvantaged and working-class backgrounds are encouraged to apply for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).Artisan Nhlakanipho Mkhize is one of many students who have benefited from National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding.

According to the Department of Higher Education and Training, NSFAS funding is available to youth who have already completed their schooling or are already studying at any level in a higher education institution.

They can apply for funding from NSFAS to study at a public university or a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college, but must do so before the closing date on 7 January 2022.Applicants must be:

  • South African citizens or permanent residents who want to register or are already studying at a public university or TVET college;
  • South African Social Security Agency grant recipients;
  • From households with a combined household income not exceeding

  R350 000 per year.

A brighter future

Nhlakanipho Mkhize (26) is a qualified electrician, thanks to NSFAS funding, which paid for his studies at Umfolozi TVET College in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mkhize, from Richards Bay, obtained a National Certificate (Vocational) Electrical Infrastructure Construction in 2017.

In addition to campus-based learning, he also had to complete workplace training and pass a trade test.

Early on in his studies, Mkhize had the opportunity to put what he learnt into practice, ensuring that he gained confidence in the basic skills he was developing.

“As a first-year student, I was already attending to electricity problems in my community. Umfolozi TVET College provided us with both theory and practice.

“The advantage TVET students have is not just exposure, but also a compulsory workplace-based learning component to certify that they are competent before receiving their qualification,” he says.

Like many South African youth who come from underprivileged backgrounds, Mkhize knew he wanted to pursue a career in engineering, but no one in his family could afford college fees.

“When I became aware of the NSFAS funding, I knew it would lead to where I wanted to go – being an engineer,” he says.

Mkhize’s three-year NSFAS funding paid for his books, tuition and transport, and he received a personal care allowance

How to apply

Students can apply online by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Go to www.nsfas.org.za and click on the ‘myNSFAS’ tab.
  • Step 2: Create a myNSFAS account.
  • Step 3: Click on the ‘apply’ tab and complete the sections on the screen.
  • Step 4: Upload the required supporting documents, where applicable.
  • Step 5: Click ‘submit’.

For more information, visit www.nsfas.org.za or follow on social media at Facebook: National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Twitter: @myNSFAS and Instagram: @myNSFAS

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