Over one million students provisionally funded by NSFAS

Monday, March 4, 2024

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received a total of 1 936 330 applications for funding, as of 16 February 2024.

Briefing the media on the registration process and payment of allowances on Monday, NSFAS Acting Chairperson, Professor Lourens Van Staden, said that of the 1 936 330 applications received, 1 244 854 are provisionally funded as of 1 March 2024, with 108 345 registrations received, 59 723 awaiting evaluations, and 94 816 awaiting supporting documents.

Van Staden said a total of 84 225 applications have been withdrawn by students, while 52 038 are in progress, and 136 468 are on the not-started status, as applicants only created profiles and did not submit applications. 

“NSFAS has rejected 243 113 applications and 15 174 appeals have been lodged to date,” Van Staden said at a briefing held at the Government Communication and Information System in Pretoria.

The briefing comes after the applications for funding closed on 15 February 2024.

Van Staden said the scheme is determined to improve its systems, including applications processes, to enable a smooth and seamless application process.

The chairperson said the scheme is also committed to continue working with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to verify the financial eligibility criteria of all the applicants, by ensuring that the consent form is submitted by non-South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) applicants.

He reiterated the call to applicants to submit accurate information when applying, as this assist in reducing the timelines to make funding decisions.  

Through third party verifications, Staden said NSFAS has processed about 23 000 applications per day and has prioritised applicants who have received firm offers of admission from universities, or who were enrolled at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

Over 30 000 loan applications received

On the 2024 loan applications, Van Staden said NSFAS has received 30 728 loan applications as of 16 February 2024. 

Van Staden said the scheme has pre-assessed and determined students who pre-qualify for the loan, and communication was sent to the affected students via the student portal, to confirm whether or not they were accepted for NSFAS to process their loan application. 

He stressed that this is specifically for students who had applied for a bursary, but were above the income threshold for the bursary, but within the loan threshold.

“The next step would be for NSFAS to communicate with institutions, to request them to submit admission data for registered students in line with the requirements of the loan of the 70 vs 30 split in STEM [Science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and social sciences respectively. 

“At the completion of this process, we envisage that a total of 31 800 missing middle students will be provided with student loans,” Van Staden explained.
The loan applications also closed on 15 February 2024. – SAnews.gov.za