How does nsfas works

How does nsfas works

What exactly is NSFAS?
How does nsfas works : NSFAS is a government scheme set up to help young people pay for tuition at any of the 25 public universities and 50 public FET colleges in the country. NSFAS provides loans and scholarships that will cover your tuition, accommodation, living expenses and travel while you study.

Who qualifies for NSFAS?
All South African citizens, registered at South African institutions, who are in need of financial assistance and can prove that they’ll be academically successful, are eligible for NSFAS funding. While NSFAS funds primarily undergraduate students, further study can also be covered if it is required for your chosen career. (This would be that case, for example, with law, which requires you to have a postgraduate, LLB degree.)

How do I apply?
It’s quite simple, really. Full time registered students who meet the entry requirements for the scheme just have to complete and submit NSFAS applications forms at their university’s financial aid offices. The only catch is that funding isn’t automatically renewed, so students need to make sure to reapply every year.

How do they decide who makes the cut?
To determine who qualifies for NSFAS, applicants have to undergo a “means test” to rank how financially needy they are. This is a formula which takes into account the household income, the number of dependents in the household, and the family’s cost of living. Usually, students with an annual household income of R160 000 or less will be eligible to apply. A family contribution to the fees may, however, need to be made, depending on the means test.

Do I need to pay it all back?
The short answer is yes, you really should. Loan repayments are encouraged in order to help fund new generations of students in need of NSFAS. But it depends on your marks. Depending on the quality of your results, up to 40% of NSFAS loans can be converted to bursaries.

Loan repayments are based on the salary that you earn; you start paying them back once your salary is R30,000 or more per year. The repayment rate is reasonable: 3% of the annual salary, increasing to a maximum of 8% when your salary reaches R59,300 or more per year. This means you will pay back R900 a year on a salary of R30 000 a year, or R84 per month. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider that the interest charged on the loan is subsidised at 80% of the rate that the commercial rate banks would charge.

Even though the NSFAS Act of 1999 allows NSFAS to have employers deduct loan repayments from the monthly salaries of those who’ve been assisted by the scheme, about 20% of NSFAS recipients have never paid back a cent. In 2013, NSFAS was owed R15.6-billion in unpaid loans. This means the next generation of needy students have to fight that much harder for a piece of the pie. So if you get NSFAS funding and you get your degree, be a good sport and pay back the money.

Is it plain-sailing after I get my NSFAS funding?
Not always. There are countless stories about students whose fees or additional costs, like res fees, weren’t fully paid, who’s living expenses were paid late or who struggled to get NSFAS to pay their registration on time. Administration, particularly when split between a state organisation like NSFAS and a university or college, can be tricky. So be aware that having confirmed NSFAS funding doesn’t mean that all your expenses will be covered. You also might need to spend lots of time on the phone, writing emails or queueing at the financial aid office for clarification and advice. The bottom line is, you might simply have to pay some expenses out of your own pocket.

For more information, visit the NSFAS website or your institution’s financial aid office.

 

 


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.