NSFAS assists newly qualifying students with aid

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says following the pronouncement by the President to increase the threshold for financial aid, it will work with public institutions of higher learning to assist learners who missed the initial application window of 30 November 2017. 

“To ensure that we provide for those who missed out on the initial window because they were above the R122 000 household income bracket, NSFAS will be working with public institutions of higher learning to gain access to this information and use it to make funding decisions,” said NSFAS on Thursday. 

On 16 December 2017, President Jacob Zuma announced that the threshold to qualify for financial assistance to students from South African households would be adjusted to a combined annual income of up to R350 000 per annum. 

To this end, all the new first time entry (FTEN) students who have been allocated space but haven’t applied directly to NSFAS will be assisted. They will, however, have to supply the institution with mandatory documentation such as identity documentation of parent, legal guardian or spouse and proof of income or SASSA. 

All FTEN students are advised to bring these when presenting themselves at institutions of higher learning.  

NSFAS said for the application window for 2018, which closed on 30 November 2017, it received over 300 000 applications. These applications were for first year students, who have signalled their intentions to study at universities and TVET colleges in the 2018 academic year. 

“We have already assessed 80% of the applications using the new criteria and will be communicating outcomes to all applicants from 12 January 2018. These outcomes will be made upon confirmation of institutional admission offers,” said NSFAS. 

Students who haven’t applied to institutions of higher learning and have also not applied to NSFAS during the registration period will be assisted through the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) and are advised to register on this platform. 

“We are liaising and exchanging information with DHET in order to assist prospective students who have been offered a place at the university or TVET College in order to provide financial assistance. Details on CACH can be accessed via DHET website - https://cach.dhet.gov.za/Applicant/UsingCACH,” said NSFAS. 

For 2018 continuing students, who were funded by NSFAS in 2017, their study loans will now be converted into a bursary to cover their full cost of study. 

“All continuing students are required to verify their funding status with the financial aid office or the student support services at their institutions before they continue with registration. NSFAS would require final academic results from the institution before continued funding can be confirmed,” said NSFAS. 

The academic results are exchanged with NSFAS via an integration platform with institutions and NSFAS progression rules will apply. - SAnews.gov.za

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