The National Student Financial Aid Scheme or the “NSFAS” was founded with the objective of providing financial assistance to students who want to further their tertiary education but don’t have the financial capacity to do so.
For the academic school year 2021, the NSFAS is now open for applications. For the students who meet the criteria, it provides them a chance to receive funding from the government. If you’re one such student, you must first make sure that you meet the required criteria.
It’s only then that you become eligible to get financial assistance. If you’re interested, you can create your own account by registering on the official NSFAS website.
What does NSFAS status mean?
If you have applied for NSFAS funding, you would like to know the status of your application. This information can be very confusing, especially if you don’t know how to properly check it. Also, processes aren’t always clear in terms of what you must do next. To make it easier for you, the first thing you must know is that the NSFAS statuses mean. These are:
This means that you’re successful with your application. It means that the application you sent was successfully processed and the funding process is already complete. If you see this status, the next thing you must do is to register then start attending your classes.
Eligible for Funding but Awaiting Confirmation of Academic Admission
If you get this status, it means that you have qualified for funding but you still need confirmation of admission from the institution as the NSFAS hasn’t received this yet. For this status, you have to contact the Financial Aid Office of the institution and inform to follow-up.
Verifying the Household Income with Third-Party Sources
This status means that your household income is still under the process of verification. Credit bureaus are the ones in charge of doing this. They need to verify that the income you declared is less than the threshold of R350,000.
If you see this status, you don’t have to do anything. Just wait for a message that will inform you of the approval of your funding and the confirmation of your academic admission.
This status means that NSFAS has already received your application but a caseworker still needs to evaluate it. This process ensures that all of the information you provided in your application has been accurately captured. With this kind of status, you just have to wait – you don’t have to do anything else. You will also wait for a message that will inform you of the approval of your funding and the confirmation of your academic admission.
This status can mean different things. First, it may mean that you have a threshold income of over R350,000. Second, it may mean that you don’t qualify for NSFAS. Third, it might mean that you haven’t received admission to a TCET college or university. For this status, there is nothing further you must do.
What is my NSFAS status?
It is very important for you to understand what you’re reading when you check your NSFAS application status. Here are short descriptions of each application status to help you understand them better:
This is when your application was successfully loaded into the system of the NSFAS.
This is when the system will check your application to verify if you’re a returning student or if you have previous qualifications.
This is when the NSFAS will conduct third-party checks with the Department of Home Affairs and the SASSA.
This is when the NSFAS will verify if the documents you submitted are all correct.
This is when the NSFAS will verify your household financial standing that you had in your application.
Awaiting Academic Results or Admission
This is when the NSFAS will check your institution’s admission status and academic results to make sure that everything complies with the requirements for NSFAS funding. This process may take a bit longer because the NSFAS must wait for the required information from the institution you have chosen.
This is when the NSFAS will wait to receive information from your institution. This enables them to draft the agreement for you to sign. This process may also take more time as the NSFAS needs to wait for the required information from the institution you have chosen.
This is when you receive the agreement along with a requirement to sign it so that the NSFAS can give your allowances.
This is when you can receive your allowances in either of two ways. First, through the NSFAS Wallet. Second, through the institution you have chosen. For this purpose, you should continue monitoring the MyNSFAS portal to check for updates.
How to check NSFAS status online?
Starting from January 6, 2020, you can find out if you’re eligible for funding or not. Students who haven’t received any feedback regarding their application need to continue monitoring their application status. If you’re one such student, follow these steps:
- Log in to the MyNSFAS student portal at the official NSFAS website.
- Input your username, password, and click on SIGN IN.
- Search for Track Funding Progress and click on it.
Once you have gained access, you can see the current status of your application. If you have a message that reads, “Provisionally Approved,” you may contact your school to ask for further assistance.
For this, reach out to the Student Finance Department. If you have any other questions, you must direct these to the NSFAS team, since they’re the only authority for the disbursement or processing of funds.
How to check NFAS status for returning students?
To inform all NFAS applicants, an arrangement is typically made with universities that allow students to register. For returning students, the registration or upfront fee will be part of the NSFAS package.
The NSFAS program has been in operation for many years now. The more recent years have brought about major changes. For instance, in response to the “Fees Must Fall” protests that swept the nation, they have changed the qualifying NSFAS funding limit. At present, students who come from a household of R350,000 and below per year will now get eligibility to receive full payment for their college or university fees, along with other expenses while studying.
The main office of the NSFAS is in Cape Town, with NSFAS offices on most of the campuses of universities of technology, TVET Colleges, and universities. If you’re a returning student, you don’t need to personally visit the NSFAS office as you can fully complete your application online. The website remains open every year from September until November. NSFAS programs are for students in universities of technology, TVET Colleges or public universities.
In the case of returning students, you can still get considered for financial funding aid, as long as, you meet all of the pre-NSFAS’ financial and academic eligibility requirements. If you’re a continuing student, the income threshold of your combined household will get evaluated against the general criteria.
How to check NSFAS status at UNISA?
If you’re planning to study at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and you’re applying for the NSFAS program, you can check your status by following these steps:
- Open the official UNISA website https://www.unisa.ac.za/
- Input your login details then click on the Submit button
- Once you access your account, you can check your status on the site.
It’s important to note that UNISA students don’t get access to NSFAS Wallets. Instead, you would receive your allowances through an Intellicard. You would receive these allowances through your institution. This means that you will receive information from your institutions about the allowances.
As a UNISA student, if you receive a letter entitled, “Statement of Account,” don’t panic! UNISA sends these letters to everyone in their system – and that includes students funded by NSFAS. If your status changes, the school will receive your payments. UNISA knows this process as communication occurs between NSFAS and UNISA.
When will NSFAS status change?
Generally, you can expect a response on a change of status a couple of days after the closing date of applications. If you still have not received any feedback from NSFAS, you may consider checking the status yourself.
Why is my NSFAS status not changing?
The outcome of an application is usually communicated from January. However, there may be cases where the application is not considered. These reasons are:
- You have existing NSFAS funding for 2020
- You have an existing undergraduate diploma/degree or a postgraduate degree except for the following:
- BTech in Architectural Technology / Architecture
- BTech in Cartography / Engineering (all disciplines) / Forestry
- BTech in Biomedical Technology / Biokinetics / Biotechnology
- BTech in Homoeopathy / Nursing / Chiropractic
- BTech in Emergency Medical Care / Clinical/Dental Technology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
If your status isn’t changing, it could also mean that your application wasn’t successful. To make sure, you can get in touch with them through email.