The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has officially tested the improved online application system which is aimed at improving the time at which users take in applying for funding.
“This is an effort to showcase the improved efficient process. The aim and focus was to make the online application system simpler for applicants, with the process shorter and reactive, providing feedback to the applicants within a week,” NSFAS said on Sunday.
The online application testing took place at the NSFAS offices in Cape Town, on Sunday, where a group of eight Grade 12’s high school learners from surrounding schools applied for 2019 funding online.
After the completion and submission of the applications, the learners received SMS notifications confirming that their application were captured successfully.
This exercise was done in order for NSFAS to test the readiness of the system in time for the 2019 applications cycle set to be open from 3 September 2018.
“The idea was to test the application process with learners who require the funding, once they’ve completed the application process it means their data will be automatically captured in the system,” NSFAS said.
These applications will then be processed and evaluated, with funding decision communicated to the learners as soon as the process has been completed.
“With this successful testing I can take the nation into confidence to say that NSFAS is ready for 2019 application cycle, but it is important to note that our readiness will be determined by how smooth the process runs in terms of giving funding decisions timeously,” said NSFAS Administrator Dr Randall Carolissen.
Carolissen said that NSFAS is a national asset and therefore needs to be treated as such, after all the scheme is at the forefront of transformation in higher and further education and training sector.
He said that there is a need and a purpose for an organisation like NSFAS, therefore working for this institution cannot just be a job, but it is simply a mission.
In essence NSFAS is part of a broader change, giving access to higher and further education and training in order to emancipate future leaders of this country.
The main priority and mandate of NSFAS is to efficiently and effectively provide financial aid to students from poor and working class in order to promote access to and success in, higher and further education.
“We will work effortlessly and remain focus until such a time where students are not frustrated by delays and system errors.
“The work and plans towards completing the 2017/18 backlog has begun in earnest, where issues of unsigned agreements, non-payment of allowances, and unpaid tuition fees will be dealt with in a robust and speedily manner to ensure that students receive their allowances.
“NSFAS has deployed teams led by senior management to universities and TVET colleges across the country to finalise the closeout of 2017/18 student funding decisions and disbursements, in order to prepare for the smooth opening of the 2019 application cycle,” said Carolissen.
Students need to consult their financial aid offices for more information, contact NSFAS through social media or alternatively call NSFAS Contact Centre 0860 067 327 to get assistance. – SAnews.gov.za