National Student Financial Aid Scheme or NSFAS is a public entity governed by the NSFAS Act that enables any student to apply for a loan or bursary. The primary objective is to turn NSFAS into an efficient provider of financial assistance to students from less fortunate families promotes access to higher and further education and training.
NSFAS bursary supports qualified applicants’ education by covering the costs of studies for certain qualifications at any public university or college in South Africa.
The following bursary programs are offered by NASFAS:
1. Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which is responsible for the assessment practices and systems for vocational and continuing education and training. The TVET bursary covers full cost of college fees as indicated in the programme costs of the current academic year as well as travel and accommodation expenses.
2. The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a programme to support teaching studies and are available to qualified students to complete a teaching degree. Bursary recipients are then required to teach at public schools equivalent to the duration of bursary received. Please note that bursary holders cannot choose the school in which they would like to be placed. The bursary given will cover most of the recipient’s necessary expenses that may include tuition, accommodation including meals, books and learning materials, and if possible a small allowance for monthly living expenses.
Two types of qualifications can be funded are:
- Undergraduate studies or a 4-year Bachelor of Education degree (B Ed), specializing in Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3), Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 6), Senior Phase (Grade 7 – 9) and FET Phase (Grade 10-12).
- Graduate studies or One-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Combined qualifications are also acceptable such as combine specialization in the Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3) and Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 6), or the Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase, or the Senior Phase (Grade 7 – 9) and FET Phase (Grade 10 –12).
3. Social Work Bursaries is provided by the Department of Social Development and is aimed to provide financial assistance to qualified students who wish to pursue studies in Bachelor of Social Work degree. Priorities are given to youth between the ages of 18 – 35 years in line with government’s goals of youth’s active participation in socio-economic activities. Social Work bursary pays for registration, tuition, prescribed books, accommodation, meals, and stipends for practical work experience as determined by the university.
4. Disability Bursary Programme provides financial support to applicants with disabilities who need financial assistance and possess good academic performance. Applicants for this bursary must provide proof of disability and a quotation for assistive devices as required documents with the application form. An assistive device will be provided through applicant’s arrangement to the student disability unit at the university or TVET college where the applicant is going to study. This is to improve the quality of life of the applicant with the disability and reduce the costs of dependency and care as well as to enhance the prospect of employment and participation within the economy that is facilitated by a higher education qualification.
NSFAS bursary holders are required to work in South Africa for a specified period after graduation. Should the bursary holders are unable to find employment in South Africa within a 3 month period post-graduation, the applicant must apply in writing to NSFAS for a fair exit clause/buy-out clause to be considered.
To get updates on NSFAS activity, visit their official website.
Bursary Requirements and Eligibility
- South African citizens
- Applicants who wish to pursue studies at a public university or TVET college
- Previous applicants who already have an application reference number should not apply
- NOT a recipient of any NSFAS funding for the current academic year
For postgraduate studies, only the students of the following fields are accepted:
- B Tech – Architecture/Architectural Technology
- B Tech – Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting
- Bachelor of Laws/LLB
For a TVET college bursary application:
- Registered at a public South African TVET college
- Registered for the National Certificate (vocational)
- Registered for certain Report 191 (NATED) programmes such as N1-N6 in engineering and N4-N6 in all other fields.
How to Apply and Application Details
- Register online as a user on myNSFAS.
- Click the APPLY tab to be directed to the online 2019 application form.
- Prepare certified copies of the following documents:
- South African identity document/card or an unabridged birth certificate
- IDs of parents and/or guardian (death certificate if applicable)
- IDs of each person living in your household
- Any household proof of income (not older than three months)
- Academic results
- University registration documents
- Travel and Accommodation documents (if applicable)
- Proof of marital status (if applicable)
- Download and complete the consent form and fill it in with signatures of all people whose incomes have been declared in the application.
- If you have a disability, download and complete the Disability Annexure A
- Visit your provincial/office where you will be given a hard copy of the application form to fill in.
- Use black ink to complete the application form and write within the blocks with CAPITAL letters.
- Do not cancel out any text and make sure to write clearly.
- Have parents/guardian sign the consent form.
- Have certified copies of the listed supporting documents and attach them to the application form by stapling before submission.
- Documents must be certified on the front side of the page and should be within 3 months.
- Sign the completed application form and submit it to one of the NYDA assistants.
- The application will be attached with a barcode. Wait for the small acknowledgment of receipt card with the duplicated barcode.
The applications for NSFAS funding for the 2020 academic year is closed now.
The NSFAS application window was opened from 1 September to 30 November 2019. There will be no late application window for 2020.
Post: Private Bag X1, Plumstead 7801, South Africa
Address: 10 Brodie Road, House Vincent 2nd Floor, Wynberg, Cape Town 7700
Tel: 0860 067 327