Do you wish to enter your dream university but struggle to make ends meet? The South African government ensures its students pursue higher studies by helping them financially.


Over the years, many programs have been introduced to aid deserving candidates. The NSFAS is one of those programs which helps students achieve their dreams.

I applied for this program a few years back and got full assistance. Based on my personal experience, I think I am in the position of writing on NSFAS.

All the details provided will help you apply for this program if you are eligible. I am sure the information will help you apply easily without any problems.

What Is NSFAS?


The NSFAS, an acronym for National Student Financial Aid Scheme, is an initiative by the South African government to help and support students after finishing their high school education.

This scheme is helping thousands of young people who want to study but are facing a financial crisis. The Department of Higher Education and Training provides all the funds for the NSFAS.

It was started in 1996, and currently, 399 people are handling the process.

Three years later, when the government started NSFAS, the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa was merged with it.

Till 2018, almost R30 billion were given by the government for funding students.

People training under Funza Lushaka Training Bursary can also apply for the NSFAS. They can get funds for completing their teaching training.

What Does NSFAS Stand For?

People not applying for this fund are mostly unaware of the full form. The NSFAS stands for National Student Financial Aid Scheme. As mentioned, it helps students to meet ends when they want to pursue higher studies.

Almost 300,000 students apply every year to get funds under this scheme.

What Does NSFAS Offer?

Not every South African student is eligible for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Students facing financial problems can apply for the fund. It covers the full tuition fee along with the living allowances. Moreover, the student gets monthly allowances that can be used for food or books. If you live far from your institute, you will get the traveling expenses too.

Before 2018, NSFAS was a loan scheme, meaning students had to return the amount after a few years. Five years back, this loan scheme was changed into a bursary scheme, meaning it can be considered a financial aid scholarship.

The students do not have to return the amount. They also get their health/personal care allowance every month.

Eligibility Criteria For NSFAS

Criteria must be fulfilled by the students who want to apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. A list is given below so that you can know if you are eligible for the NSFAS. Go through the points carefully to know all the details.

  • If you apply for NSFAS, you should be a South African citizen.
  • Your grades should be good enough to get an advantage over the other candidate. The grades do matter when it comes to your application for NSFAS.
  • The university you want to go to should be a public institute. You cannot apply at a private institute if you want to register for NSFAS.
  • As a student, you must pass your high school to apply for NSFAS because it is a fund used for university students.
  • Only students whose family income is less than R 300,000 are eligible to apply for this financial aid scheme. If the family’s income exceeds the specified amount, you cannot apply for NSFAS.
  • If you have any disability, you can apply for the fund even if your family’s income exceeds R 300,000. It should be ensured that the limit of R 600,000 shall not be crossed.

Hence all the conditions should be met to apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. This can be of great help if you need some help financially.

How Does NSFAS Work?

When you fulfill the criteria, you apply for the fund. Once done, you will have to wait until your application gets accepted.

A full system is present for investigating and verifying the information. A “Means Test” is done by the authorities. You won’t have to go through the test if you have applied for SASSA grants.

Upon approval, you get back your registration fee along with the tuition fee for the year. In most cases, the student does not get the fund.

The university gets the tuition fee directly, and the authorities also ask for the student’s academic record. They keep a check on a student’s grade to see if the money is being used for the deserving candidate or not.

NSFAS Official Website (www.nsfas.org.za)

The NSFAS has an official website with all the information about this program. You can browse and scroll for the details you need regarding the application process.

Open NSFASF Official Website

Social media platforms are also updated regularly to facilitate the students. Keep an eye on the updates so you won’t miss any opportunities.

What does NSFAS pay for?

The NSFAS pays the tuition fee, traveling expenses, and accommodation if you are eligible for the fund. Students get a monthly personal care allowance too, when registered under NSFAS.

Who receives NSFAS?

South African students who are not financially stable can apply for NSFAS to pursue higher studies. They can get help for completing their education at university.

How many months is NSFAS paid for?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme covers the cost of 10 months of education in university. All the grades are checked throughout to see if the candidate is deserving.

A detailed article on NSFAS is written so you can apply for financial aid to pursue your studies. The information helps the candidate register for the program if they need help.

Everything is covered under this program for 10 months, including the traveling and accommodation expenses. The article has provided you with enough information on NSFAS that you should know.

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