Institutions urged to register NSFAS students without upfront registration fee

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has called on all higher learning institutions to allow National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funded students to register without paying an upfront registration fee, while the scheme is finalising the upfront payment schedule.

Nzimande made the call during a media briefing on NSFAS’s state of readiness for the 2023 academic year in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The NSFAS budget for the current financial year is projected to be R47 billion to fund approximately 900 000 NSFAS beneficiaries, a 7% increase in the number of students qualifying for NSFAS bursaries as compared to the 2022 financial year.

“Out of these qualifying students, over 60% of undergraduate students in our public university system receive support from NSFAS and well over 90% of students in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

“On confirmation of the 2023 academic year allowances, an inflated linked increase of 5% on all allowances, other than the living allowance, has been effected for our universities,” Nzimande said.

The Minister announced that students at universities which provide accommodation and catering will receive a R5 460 learning material allowance and an accommodation allowance capped at R61 500.

Students at university-managed, self-catering institutions will receive an allowance for learning materials to the value of R5 460, R16 500 per annum living allowance and accommodation allowance capped at R45 000.

The Minister announced that the living allowance increment across the board will be R1 650 per month, which is 10% increment as compared to the 2022 figure.

“Living with relatives (not in private accommodation) students will receive a learning materials allowance of R5 460 and R16 500 per annum living allowance. Private off-campus accredited accommodation students will receive a learning materials allowance of R5 460, R16 500 per annum living allowance and an accommodation allowance capped at R45 000,” Nzimande said.

For TVET colleges that are own catered, Nzimande said residences will only receive an accommodation allowance to the value of R54 045 per annum, while college managed own and leased self-catered accommodation will for the first time receive a living allowance of R6000, personal care allowance of R3 045 and a maximum of R45 000 plus living allowance paid to TVET college.

“TVET students in private accommodation will receive a R6000 living allowance, R3 045 personal care allowance and R45 000 per annum accommodation allowance.

“TVET students residing less than 10km from the college, will receive a R6 000 living allowance, R3 045 personal care allowance and R7 718 travel allowance,” the Minister explained.

All allowances - apart from the living allowance increase - are in line with the 2023 NSFAS eligibility criteria and conditions for financial aid already published and shared with institutions.

Nzimande advised unsuccessful applicants to appeal NSFAS decisions by submitting the relevant supporting documents between 20 January 2023 and 20 February 2023.

NSFAS application close

Meanwhile, NSFAS applications for funding for the 2023 academic year, which opened on 28 September 2022, will officially close at midnight.

NSFAS has advised students who have applied for funding to log onto their myNSFAS accounts to track their applications.

Applicants can access their application updates on WhatsApp at 078 519 8006 or dial *120*67327 to track their 2023 application status. –